Weekend Waterview: Osprey Nests on the Lake


We always look forward to boating in the summer to check on “our” osprey nests. Osprey return to their same nest each year in March here on the lake, after wintering in Central and South America. They can log more than 160,000 migration miles during their 15-to-20-year lifetime.


They build their nests on manmade structures . . . channel markers, duck blinds, power poles and nest platforms designed especially for nesting.


This duck blind has a nice spacious patio area for a family and where a little green can grow. . .


While this heat conducting and slippery sloped metal roof on this boat dock looks like it makes chick-rearing a challenge!



This is the first time we’ve seen osprey nesting on a boat.


{Insert *wince* here}


 This osprey pair wasn’t fooled or deterred by the fake owl/ predator placed on the boat lift. You can read an interesting story about a boat owner vs. osprey here.


Once on the endangered list, the osprey population is slowly making a comeback after the ban of the insecticide DDT in 1971.


In the US, Osprey are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and moving an osprey nest violates federal and state laws, although state laws vary.


While I’m happy that these osprey found such deluxe accommodations, I feel a pang of sympathy for this boat owner and its top.




The male osprey usually fetches most of the nesting material, sometimes breaking dead sticks off nearby trees while the female arranges the nest. The female osprey does most of the incubation, relieved by the male when she leaves the nest to feed. The young remain in the nest for about 8 weeks after hatching. After migrating in the fall, the young remain south on the wintering grounds until 2 years old. Ospreys begin breeding at about 3 years of age.


You can read more about osprey habitat and nesting, here.


We all enjoy watching their hunting and fishing skills.


 It’s amazing to watch them hit the water and return with the catch of the day.




This nest is lined with what appears to be a plastic garbage bag to clean up those messy spills. ;)



It’s hot and steamy here, hope you’re staying cool in your nest!

Osprey Nests

Happy Sunday!

  31 comments for “Weekend Waterview: Osprey Nests on the Lake

  1. July 10, 2016 at 8:03 am

    So interesting!! Great shots, Mary.
    I winced at the nest on top of the boat too!

  2. Susan
    July 10, 2016 at 8:11 am

    Wow! We don’the have any here on Moss Lake but we have lots of geese!

  3. Sue
    July 10, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Enjoyed the boat owner vs. osprey story and love your pics and comments!! Don’t know how the osprey on the slanted roof can do it!!! xoxo

  4. July 10, 2016 at 8:30 am

    I could almost smell the water. This is just what I needed. Your posts: photos and comments bring me joy. Thank you for making this Sunday morning even better.

  5. Ellen Stillabower
    July 10, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Thanks for sharing!! ❤️

  6. July 10, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Those osprey sure have miles and miles of air flight, don’t they Mary? I sure wouldn’t want to be the owner of the boat where they’re nesting! Seeing Chloe and Gracie on your boat, watching the comings and goings of the osprey, made me smile! Happy Sunday, Mary!

  7. Elizabeth
    July 10, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Enjoyed your post, as always! Have a wonderful Sunday.

  8. July 10, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Amazing pictures!

  9. Debbie Holman
    July 10, 2016 at 10:16 am

    I can’t believe how beautiful your pictures are! I love these birds and have them nest near me but I haven’t got any pictures to tell the tale as you do!

  10. Ellen
    July 10, 2016 at 10:51 am

    Beautiful photos and wonderful informative post. I do feel bad for that boat owner- talk about sacrifice for the greater good! Just wondering if he can reclaim his boat after they leave the nest this year or is he forever in limbo? Those nests are a work of art and resourcefulness. Thank-you for this most interesting post about Osprey- you are a great teacher!

  11. Melodie Strickland
    July 10, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures. I feel sorry for the boat owner having an osprey nest on top of his boat. I would imagine he could clean it after the little ospreys leave the nest. Have a wonderful day. The weather is finally not as hot and humid. My husband is out of the hospital and doing better. Hope you, your hubby and the girls enjoy the weather.

  12. July 10, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Fond memories of all the HUGE osprey nests on our golf course in FL!! Magnificent birds!
    I have a fake owl on my back deck, to keep the birds from building nests in the eves of the gazebo.
    I think they’re used to him, as I saw a little sparrow sitting right on his head recently! LOL

  13. Virginia
    July 10, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing your pictures of osprey today. We are fortunate to live on the Perquimans River in Northeastern North Carolina, and love to watch the building and fishing habits of osprey. My husband also enjoyed today’s post and his comments were ” I really feel sorry for the boat owner who has lost this summer’s enjoyment and we really need to get a new camera.” Almost forgot just made lemon curd today, thanks for the recipe.

  14. Linda L
    July 10, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    Wow! Just amazing photos. Like Virginia I’m sharing the post with my husband.

  15. July 10, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    I’ll bet that boat owner is just ~thrilled~ that the birds nested there… I think he needs to spend more time at the dock, and I’m sure that’s what he’s telling his wife:@) Happy Sunday Mary!

  16. July 10, 2016 at 5:52 pm

    That was awesome. We do not live by the ocean any more so we miss all the osprey excitement. Thanks!!

  17. July 10, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Oh, huh uh! Please don’t say the people who own that boat were NOT allowed to remove that nest?! While the habitat and nesting is intriguing, that poor man’s boat is disgusting. Reminds me of how we necessarily chase the Canadian geese off our riverbank.

  18. Cathy
    July 10, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Really, really enjoyed the pictures today. What fun to live on the water. I have two Bichons also so really enjoy the pics of your girls.

  19. July 10, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Mary, this is a fascinating post. You got some great shots too. I clicked over to read the boat owner’s story. I assume the boat you picture is a different owner. Must be frustrating. Can’t imagine not having use of one’s boat all summer.
    Hot one here today, but I’m nice and cool in the comfort of the AC. ‘-)

  20. Linda E.
    July 10, 2016 at 7:48 pm

    This post was fascinating, Mary! Thanks so much for the stories and pictures of the ospreys! Never seen anything like that before!

  21. Cyndi Raines
    July 10, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    Thanks Mary. Enjoyed all the pictures and had no idea they traveled so far during their lifetime. For the boat owner, I hope they aren’t the type that return to the same place each year to build a nest! Try to stay cool. :)

  22. July 10, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Amazing post with so many pictures of the beautiful osprey. Thank you!

  23. July 11, 2016 at 8:53 am

    oh dear, I’m afraid my husband would be breaking the law, he would never put up with a nest on his boat! Yikes, I’ve got to go read that story! I love to watch the birds around the water and osprey nests are so intriguing, they are perched high on many of the channel markers here. Those puff balls of yours look like they are avid nest checkers :)

  24. Gina
    July 11, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Fabulous photos! Thank you for one of the most interesting posts.

  25. July 11, 2016 at 1:43 pm

    Amazing and beautiful photos! Such a magnificent bird. We have a similar problem with a much smaller bird – the cliff swallows. They, too, are protected by the Federal Migratory Bird Act. They’ve been coming to our Southern California house (as opposed to the Mission San Juan Capistrano!) for about 7 years now. Like osprey, they come back to where they were born and they come from Argentina, so a bit of a hike! We have over 120 mud nests around the eaves of our house this year. I love these little birds, but they sure make a mess!

  26. July 13, 2016 at 3:47 pm

    Beautiful photos and a wonderful post! Thank you!!

  27. Kathy G
    July 25, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Hi Mary!! Thanks for the informative and most interesting boat ride. I share your interests in flora, fauna and the birds and animals around us. All those lovely pictures were definately a labor of love, I am sure you had to take dozens over time to get such amazing pictures. I so enjoyed the Osprey with that great catch of the day-amazing photos, Mary. Thank you so much for sharing a glimpse into the life of these amazing birds!

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