News & Events for Chesapeake Bay

Once nearly extinct, ospreys rally in Chesapeake Bay

Date Posted: 2017-06-26
Source: ABC News

Along the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach, ospreys build nests with just about anything: tree branches, stuffed animals, flip flops — even an opossum skull.

The abundance of nests is proof of the bird's surging population in recent decades after the insecticide DDT nearly wiped them out last century.

Research associate Reese Lukei Jr., right, holds an inspection mirror as he and Matt Klepeisz, inspect an osprey nest on the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach, Va., June 9, 2017.Steve Helber/AP

But conservationists continue to tag ospreys while counting their eggs and nests. The protected species faces threats such as pollution and predators that also have rebounded from DDT.

For instance, great horned owls hunt osprey chicks. The owls are mostly to blame for 27 abandoned osprey nests found along the river this year.

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