A new pair tagged on the Chesapeake.
Meet Hackett (on the left) and Holly, a presumably young pair of Ospreys that has set up on a new pole on Hackett Point just south of the Annapolis end of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The pole they're on is a replacement for the pole that our 2013 male, Woody, and his mate used. That pole, already at a 45-degree angle, was swept away by ice floes in the winter of 2014-2015. Inexplicably, Woody returned to the Bay last year but did not nest. A pair was in residence when he arrived--perhaps the two birds we trapped and tagged on 3 May of this year--and he was not willing (unlikely) or able (also surprising as the resident male) to reclaim his corner of the Bay. He died later that summer, presumably a traffic fatality. When we arrived this spring to set our trap, the two birds at the replacement pole had not yet laid eggs. I've never trapped adults at a nest without eggs or young, so I was more than a bit skeptical of our chances of catching even one of the pair. We went ahead and set the noose carpet over 3 dummy Osprey eggs (imagine the female's surprise when she returned to the nest to see it full of eggs. Hmmm, she thought, now that was easy!) and 3 menhaden (one of the Osprey's favorite prey items). Oh, ye of little faith! 18 minutes after we pulled away from the nest, we had trapped both birds! We outfitted both of them with cell-tower transmitters. This is the first time since about 2001 that we've had the male and female tagged at the same nest.
Wing length 50.0 cm
Tail length 22.5 cm
Weight 1.940 kg (4.18 lbs)