- Olwen Jarvis
The Osprey Saga in Northwest Creek
Updated: Apr 28
The fascinating story begins in early March 2022. From our kitchen window, we observed an Osprey repeatedly landing on the No-Wake marker at the NW Creek and Spring Creek junction. Over the next few weeks, the single bird was joined by a second bird, and sticks and Spanish moss appeared on the sign. The nest was very precarious, and in several wind storms, the nest was blown down. However, the birds rebuilt and eventually laid one egg. We kept watch.
On July 6, a tiny head could be seen; a nestling had survived! By the end of July, the young one could be seen. On July 19, the fledgling was exercising its wings, and by August 5, it was ready for take-off to places unknown.
Part two of the Saga of the Ospreys in Northwest Creek.
In January 2023, I consulted with our local NC Wildlife officer about removing the 2022 nest since the nest obscured the warning sign for sailors. As advised, we waited until late January. Then, thanks to three Fairfield Harbour gentlemen, Skip Hird, George Lewis, and Tom O'Brien, plans were developed to construct a nesting platform that would conform to Cornell and Audubon's programs for such a structure.
On January 27, 2023, the platform was mounted on the range mark so that it could not obscure the range. The men placed the platform with the spinnaker pole, topping lift, and a ladder on Silver Bullet, George Lewis's 55-foot sailboat!
January 27, 2023
We monitored the nest, and on March 1, an Osprey was sitting on the cleverly mounted landing post. On March 2, two birds were at the nest, and a few sticks appeared. We could hear the plaintive cries of the pair as they courted each other. I think the male is acting as a sentinel for the nest site.
On March 2, twigs, bark, and moss began to appear, and the pair were together on the nest more often. Now we can see the head of the female, so I think it is safe to assume an egg(s) are being incubated. I plan to watch the nest and report developments over the coming weeks. The incubation for osprey eggs is 36 to 42 days. The male appears with food for the female, and she rarely leaves the nest.