Monitoring Osprey

OspreyWatch, online at, is a program where volunteers around the world record observations of breeding Osprey.  According to the program’s Web site, “The mission of OspreyWatch is to collect information on a large enough spatial scale to be useful in addressing three of the most pressing issues facing aquatic ecosystems including global climate change, depletion of fish stocks, and environmental contaminants.”  Volunteer “osprey watchers” submit their observations on the Web site.  As of 3/16/16, the program had 2188 watchers who had reported 5607 nests and posted 58,950 updates.

The effort is coordinated by the Center for Conservation Biology, a group of research professionals, students and citizens, coordinated by the College of William and Mary and Virginia Commonwealth University, who focus on research and education about particular bird species of concern.  For more information on the Center, visit; phone (757) 221-1645; or e-mail:

For a news account on OspreyWatch, please see Ospreys offer clues on the environment, Richmond Times-Dispatch, 3/19/13.

For real-time video of a Chesapeake Bay osprey nest, see the Chesapeake Convervancy’s “Osprey Cam,” online at

For a 2016 update on the status of Osprey in the Chesapeake Bay region, please see DDT nearly wiped out these birds. Now they’re making a comeback, Washington Post, 4/6/16.

And for audio takes on osprey, have a listen to Virginia Water Radio Episode 116 (6/25/12); or Episode 175 (8-9-13), on a rescue of an osprey caught in fishing line, all filmed on the Osprey Cam.

osprey nest

Osprey nest on a channel marker in the James River below Richmond, June 22, 2007.

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