Watch live as ospreys keep a birds eye view of the farm
Ospreys, also known as fish hawks or fish eagles, have a worldwide population of around 460,000 and can be found on nearly every continent around the world. The Chesapeake Bay area, however, has the highest population density of ospreys anywhere in the world. Ospreys and other birds of prey are often used as indicator species. Animals whose presence in an area indicates generally good health because it means that all of the animals and plants that are of a lower trophic level are present in the environment in sufficient levels to sustain a high population of these indicator species. In this case, it means that there are sufficient levels of bacteria, fungi, detritus, and vegetation to support herbivorous insects and animals. These in turn supply carnivorous fish with energy and those carnivorous fish make up 99% of an Osprey's diet. The top predator, then, is the product of adequate supplies of lower order animals and an indication that an environment is thriving. Ospreys tend to be relatively pastoral, returning to the same nest annually and generally mating for life. They also migratory, spending their winters in Central America and returning to the Bay to mate and raise their young. Nests are very large and are made up of sticks, driftwood, bits of cloth, and seaweed. Ospreys build their nests at the extreme tip of a tree or other structure, preferably one with nothing overhead. In our case, we have two nests. One on a grain elevator at our home farm (above) and another on a different grain elevator in Cecilton.