I captured a moment with a pair of ospreys guarding their nest in Salem Harbor. Over the past few years, a growing number of ospreys have made local waters their home. They’re often seen feeding on schools of bait during the early morning hours.
Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus), often referred to as fish hawks, reside during the spring and summer in Massachusetts, according to the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife). Given their diet, which is primarily fish, these large raptors are commonly spotted near water, especially along the coastline.
“Ospreys begin building nests in Massachusetts in April, and typically return to the same nest site each year,” writes MassWildlife. “Osprey nests, also known as eyries, are large structures made of branches and twigs. Because ospreys will continue to add new materials to the nest every year, their nests can grow up to 3 to 6 feet in diameter.”
Ospreys construct their nests in open areas like treetops or cliffs, but they are also known to readily nest on man-made structures like homes, utility poles, cellular towers, boats, docks or artificial nesting platforms.
“Ospreys will lay one to four eggs that typically hatch in late May or early June,” MassWildlife writes. “Starting in late-August, ospreys leave Massachusetts and head south for warmer areas from Florida to South America.”
The Marblehead Current takes pride in its association with photographer Rick Cuzner. Over the last decade and a half, he has meticulously captured the essence of Marblehead’s wild residents through thousands of nature photographs.