Rosie and Richmond, the pair of Ospreys featured in our live nest cam along the Richmond shoreline, hatched two chicks over the May 1st weekend and the third is likely to hatch any day now.
Watch the nest live, via our two hi-def video cameras, at sfbayospreys.org. Or view daily highlights on our SF Bay Ospreys Facebook page or YouTube channel. Or if you just want a quick (adorable!) peek, click here for a video of the first chick shortly after hatching.
“The emergence of these chicks inspires hope on so many levels,” said Glenn Phillips, Executive Director of Golden Gate Audubon. “It was just a couple of decades ago that Osprey numbers were dwindling because of the pesticide DDT. Now, thanks to environmental protections, Ospreys are raising families along the Bay shoreline. Nature can be so resilient—but it’s up to us to give it a chance.”
The number of Osprey nests alongside San Francisco Bay is growing. While Ospreys weren’t known to nest alongside the Bay before the early 2000s, by 2016 volunteers documented 37 active nests that produced 51 fledglings. Last year, they found 51 active nests with 99 fledglings.
Golden Gate Audubon launched its live video stream in 2017, bringing over 70,000 viewers to a nest 75 feet above the ground on a decommissioned World War 2 maritime crane in Richmond, next to the Red Oak Victory Museum ship and near the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park. Each year since then, the adult Osprey pair have returned to raise chicks together.
This year the pair has taken turns sitting on the nest since March 24, when the first egg was laid. Once the chicks have hatched, Rosie will spend nearly all her time at the nest and Richmond will bring fish to feed her and the young.
Ospreys are fierce fish eaters with adult wing spans of up to six feet. Newly hatched chicks weigh less than two ounces and have a wingspan of about three inches.
Over the past four years, nest cam followers created descriptive (though not scientific) names for the life stages of Osprey chicks—starting out as “bobbleheads,” then “dinosaur phase,” “feathers growing in,” “wingercizing,” “hovering above the nest,” and finally, fledging. The chicks’ first flight will take place about 55 days after hatching, and the young birds will remain in the area until late August.
There’s one life stage that has less to do with the Ospreys than with their fans—naming. In mid-May, Golden Gate Audubon will start soliciting ideas for chick names. Got creative naming ideas? Visit sfbayospreys.org, get acquainted with the individual birds and their personalities, and join the site’s online chat to weigh in on names for this new generation of Bay Area bird celebrities. People can also suggest names on the SF Bay Ospreys Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/bayospreys/.
There’s more than live video on sfbayospreys.org: Visit the site for Osprey facts, friendly online chat with other Osprey fans, lesson plans for teachers and home-schoolers, and even a crowd-sourced scientific research project tracking the kinds of fish that are brought to the nest.