Sharing the joy of birds since 1971

Archive for April, 2021

SMAS Announces New Osprey Nest Cam!

Happy Earth Day! Southern Maryland Audubon Society (SMAS) and JES Avanti Foundation are thrilled to announce that we helped our friends at Smallwood State Park purchase an Osprey nest cam!

The cam’s live feed captures real-time action at an Osprey nest on Mattawoman Creek in Marbury, Maryland. As of today’s public launch, the nest is occupied and already has three eggs!

Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDiZ5NgGadA

Osprey adult on nest with eggs
A view of the Osprey and nest from the new Smallwood Park cam.

SMAS board member Elena Gilroy, a park ranger at Smallwood, worked tirelessly with the state and Terrain360, a contractor based in Richmond, Virginia, to bring our concept to fruition. This is the second nest camera SMAS has spearheaded in partnership with other nonprofits and government agencies. The first was the Bald Eagle nest cam at Port Tobacco River Park, a nature area overseen by Charles County Recreation and Parks. Two cams mean that we can view raptor nest activity in Southern Maryland from about December to July.

Please note that these are wild nests. Even though we are as hopeful as you are for a successful nesting season, we do not interfere with their natural cycle, which sometimes may include interactions with predators or natural disasters.   

SMAS Hosts Our First Virtual Osprey Festival!

Join us via Zoom or FaceBook Live for an Osprey Festival on Saturday April 24, 2021, 10:00 am to 12:30 pm

Two Osprey at nest platform

Keynote speaker Greg Kearns, park naturalist at Patuxent River Park’s Jug Bay Natural Area, will discuss his 38 years of Osprey research in Ospreys of the Patuxent. Known for his dynamic speaking style, Mr. Kearns will discuss local Osprey and their biology, nest platforms and other efforts to increase Osprey numbers, tracking of Osprey migration, and his public banding program.

Our second speaker will be Reese F Lukei, Jr., volunteer research associate for the Center for Conservation Biology, College of William and Mary. He has banded over 1,000 Osprey since about 1982.  Mr. Lukei will talk about the Ospreys of Hampton Roads, Virginia, including their habits, where to look for them, what they eat, and problems they encounter living in our environment.  Lukei is also the co-founder of Osprey Watch, and he will share details about this community science project.

During this festival, the SMAS Raptor Conservation Committee will launch Osprey Watch and our partnership with the Center for Conservation Biology.  Learn how you can get involved in monitoring Osprey nests in Southern Maryland!

Instead of in-person meetings, SMAS is hosting virtual events using Zoom. We will send invitations via email with a link for joining each online event. If you do not get our Osprey newsletter via email, you need to sign up first. Please scroll to the bottom of this page and submit your email address to subscribe.  The SMAS Osprey Festival will also be available though FaceBook Live.