Osprey

Osprey (HM5Q1)

Location: Piney Point, MD 20674 St Mary's County
Country: United States of America

N 38° 8.154', W 76° 31.748'

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Pandion haliaetus

Visit Piney Point between March and October and you might see osprey at home on pilings used to moor oil barges. These graceful birds of prey return every year around St. Patricks Day from their winter homes in Brazil, Colombia or Venezuela.

The Chesapeake Bay estuary supports the largest breeding osprey population in the country. The lower reaches of the Potomac and other tidal waters are their main fishing grounds. Nicknamed the "Fish Hawk," these birds circle 50 to 100 feet above the water and plunge in a falcon-like dive whey spying a fish near the surface or they fly close to the surface dragging one or both feet through the water to flush out their prey.

Osprey Nesting

Osprey usually mate for life and return each year to their old nesting site. In the six month they are in the Chesapeake Bay Country, they spend their time repairing nests, incubating eggs and procuring food for their young.

Constructed mainly of sticks and cornstalks, nests can be as large as 8 feet in diameter and 5 feet high. Some nests have been occupied for nearly 50 years.

The size of the clutch averages three eggs. Incubation lasts about a month and the young are in the nest about two months after hatching. The role of the sexes is well defined. The female osprey, identifiable by a solid white neck, stays very close to the nest; while the male, who displays a dark band around the neck, provides food for her and the fledglings. Together the parents continue to bring food to the nest until the young birds can fly well enough to fish for themselves. After the young have grown, the osprey leave for the long journey to their wintering grounds, but they return year after year to the waters of the Potomac.
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Details
HM NumberHM5Q1
Tags
Placed ByMaryland Department of Natural Resources
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 7:32am PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 365990 N 4221998
Decimal Degrees38.13590000, -76.52913333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 8.154', W 76° 31.748'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 8' 9.24" N, 76° 31' 44.88" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 44701-45243 State Hwy 498, Piney Point MD 20674, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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