Ospreys Make New Attraction for Richmond Ferry Riders

Richmond residents now have an additional attraction during their commutes, as the ferry passes close to the nest of osprey webcam stars Rosie and Richmond every day.

The only livestreaming osprey cam in California is located within viewing distance of the new Richmond/San Francisco ferry route.

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Richmond residents now have an additional attraction during their commutes, as the ferry passes close to the nest of osprey webcam stars Rosie and Richmond every day.

 

The osprey nest can also be viewed 24 hours a day at SFBayOspreys.org—the only livestreaming osprey nest cam in California. The two HD cameras, focused on both the nest and the surrounding area, switch to infrared after dark (so there is visibility for watching without disturbing the birds).

 

Rosie laid her first egg of the 2019 nesting season with mate Richmond on Sunday, March 31. This is the pair’s third season together and, as far as can be determined, Rosie has laid three eggs total in each of the past two seasons. Though ospreys can lay up to four eggs, they most commonly have three eggs per season.

 

After the egg appeared, Richmond and Rosie shared incubation of egg duties, though Rosie spent more time on the eggs than her mate.  Richmond seems to like sharing incubation responsibilities, however, and occasionally tries to oust Rosie so he can take his turn. The incubation period for eggs can vary from 36 to 42 days.

 

The ospreys will continue to fortify their nest. Biologists refer to this phenomenon as putting in “crib rails,” as the materials gathered during this period are either very soft lining material for the bowl of the nest (which aids in incubation) or large sticks that will be placed around the edge of the nest and will serve to help contain the future offspring.

 

From this point in the season, Richmond will do most of the fishing for the two birds. Golden Gate Audubon, which runs the osprey cameras, invites everyone to help keep track of which fish he brings in—and the unfortunate garbage brought to the nest as well. The SFBayOspreys.org website facilitates a community science effort that everyone can join by using the interactive live chat forum to report “deliveries” of fish or manmade items to the nest by the ospreys.

       

On the lower half of the live chat page, all of the aggregate data for fish and manmade items is validated and then recorded in a spreadsheet on the page. The data can also be downloaded in several formats and analyzed, graphed, and used for STEM education by school teachers, or by anyone interested in ospreys and San Francisco Bay ecology. The person who accurately reports the most fish deliveries during the course of the season will win a prize at the end of the summer. (Each delivery has the first observer’s name recorded in the fish matrix spreadsheet).