The Osprey Nest
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Osprey Chick

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Viewing Season
April - September

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Osprey Babies Debut
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Born to Eat
Pecking Order
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Three Hungry Chicks
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Viewing Guide


Nesting Season 2017: Begins in April

After wintering in South America, the osprey pair, Rachel and Steve, are expected to return to Maine in mid April and settle back into their Hog Island nest.

Watch for...
Here's the typical timing for these key nesting events:

  • April 6: First adult returns to nest
  • April 11: Both adults now at nest
  • April 27: First egg
  • April 30: Second egg
  • Beginning of May: Third egg
  • June 4: First egg pips
  • June 5: First egg hatches
  • June 6: Second egg hatches
  • June 9: Third egg hatches
  • July 9: Eating and growing
  • July 21: Practicing flight skills
  • July 31: First chick fledged
  • August 1: Second chick fledged
  • August 7: Third chick fledged
  • End of August: First fall migration

* Dates are from 2014.

Osprey are birds of prey that rely almost entirely on fish, so they nest and raise their chicks near water. Rachel and Steve make their summer home atop a 30-foot tower located at the Maine Audubon Camp on Hog Island. The pair returns each year in early April after wintering in South America. Egg-laying takes place at the end of the month. Rachel does most of the incubation, while Steve often feeds her at the nest. After two months of rapid growth, the chicks begin to fly in early August. In early September, the young will begin fall migration traveling solo.

Presented by and Audubon