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Webcam ospreys reunite atop waterfront crane in Richmond

By March 4, 2019 April 10th, 2019 No Comments
Rosie and Richmond are back for another season in their nest high above the Richmond shoreline. (Golden Gate Audubon Society)

Two ospreys that raised three chicks last year on live video have reunited in their nest perched high atop a crane along the Richmond waterfront.

For the next several months, webcam watchers will be able to view the pair of ospreys, named Rosie and Richmond, as they bond, court, incubate eggs and take care of their chicks, according to the Golden Gate Audubon Society.

Last year, the pair’s three chicks were named Roemer, Victory and Brisa after the Audubon Society put out a call for submissions and put names to a vote on Facebook.

Ospreys are large raptors with wingspans of 5 to 6 feet, and hunt and eat fish, according to the Audubon Society. The birds often return to the same nest, like the one atop the historic Whirley Crane next to the WWII-era SS Red Oak Victory at Point Potrero.

Webcam watchers will be able to see the osprey pair bond and hopefully raise more chicks this year. (Golden Gate Audubon Society)

Rosie migrated south for the winter, presumably in Mexico or elsewhere in Central America, while Richmond wintered in the Bay Area, the Audubon chapter said.

The nest cam launched in 2017 and live video can be found at SFBayOspreys.org.

Last year was the best season documented for osprey nesting successfully on the edge of San Francisco Bay, with at least 54 nesting pairs and 84 fledglings documented, according to the Golden Gate Audubon Society.

Ospreys normally breed along freshwater lakes and rivers in Northern California and the species had never been documented nesting on San Francisco Bay until the 1990s. The birds of prey live as long as 15 to 20 years.

In addition to the webcam, there is also a set of free, downloadable lesson plans for secondary school teachers, leveraging the website and high-definition cameras to generate enthusiasm for wildlife, ecology, and interest in STEAM (science/technology/engineering/art/math) education.