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Welcome to OWSEM.ORG

Osprey Watch of Southeast Michigan (OWSEM) is a volunteer organization.  Our goals are to help the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) in their efforts to restore the Osprey to Southern Michigan and to educate the public about this very special raptor.

Learn more about OWSEM, our mission, and how you can help Ospreys in Southeastern Michigan!



All three of the chicks carrying transmitters have fledged.  Read here about their adventures as described by Barb Jensen.

If you have a sighting you’d like to report, we’d love to hear from you. Click here to contact us.

The Sightings Map has been updated as of 01 July to show where this year’s nests are.

Thanks for all your ongoing support and assistance with reports and fine photographs!

This photo was taken by Jim Kortge on 30 June 2013, and it shows the C09 hack band on the most beloved of Ospreys raised and released at Kensington MetroPark as part of the Osprey Reintroduction Program. C09 and his numerous (two to three fledglings every year from 2002 to 2009) offspring have played a huge role in the success of the program.  C09 had not been seen for a couple of years so this sighting is totally awesome. Thanks, Jim, for capturing a gem of a photo!!

Jim Kortge photo, used with permission

12 July 2013

Today the first of three Microwave Telemetry GPS transmitters was deployed.  This is a first in Michigan, and the full story of how this all came about will be published here soon! You will be able to view movements of the Kensington male chick after he fledges as well as the other two chicks (at different nests) soon to get their own transmitters.

30 June 2013

C09 has been found!  His nest was first reported by Holly March, Marketing Assistant at Controlled Dehumidification in Brighton Township, who had observed a pair of Ospreys nesting there for at least a couple of years. Today five OWSEM members, in three separate locations, verified the male to be C09.  They are Jim Ridley, Jim Kortge, Barb Jenson, Bugsy Watson, and Stevie. Jim Kortge took the below picture showing C09’s mate and THREE chicks!

This photo was also taken by Jim Kortge on 30 June 2013, and it shows the C09’s mate and THREE chicks.

Jim Kortge photo, used with permission

Shortly after the above picture was taken, an intruder Osprey showed up, coming very close to this nest.  Jim Kortge’s shot below shows just how close.

Here is another photo taken by Jim Kortge on 30 June 2013. This female intruder has a lot of nerve going so close to the nest.

Jim Kortge photo, used with permission

The same encounter was caught from a different angle by Bugsy Watson.

This photo by Bugsy Watson on 30 June 2013 shows the band on the female intruder’s right leg. This was same encounter that Jim Kortge caught but at a different angle.

Bugsy Watson photo, used with permission

More information C09 and how he was found can be learned here.

15 June 2013

Karen Markey again posted an Osprey sighting in Ann Arbor on the UMICH Birders List. This time she spotted the Osprey soaring on the Northeast side of town, above the Busch’s grocery store.

The Kensington male redeemed himself, bringing in a nice fish for his youngsters.

This photo was taken today just after the male brought in a nice fish.

Bugsy Watson photo, used with permission

14 June 2013

The Duck Lake nest is doing well.  Deirdre Smith reports that she “sat for a couple of hours near the Highland tower and learned the following:”

- I see two chicks for sure and caught them both clearly on video

- I learned that they are potty trained. Whoa! Get out of the way!

- I learned that the parents are very vocal with each other and that the male is not content to sit for very long on the nest. He is fidgety not being on “sentry” duty maybe?

- I did see the male has a silver coloured band on one leg, but I will try to get a closer shot of both of their legs next time enough to see better.

- Mom brought in a bigger fish than Dad. (Ha!)  First breakfast from the male took about 25 minutes to parcel out. Second breakfast from the female at about 09:45 took almost an hour.

- Barb [Jensen] told me what time they would eat breakfast, and she was 100% right on the mark.  A little bit freaky there, Missy!

Ming Yao sent in several pictures of activity at the nest in Kensington. Barb Jensen provided these comments.  “The Osprey... I believe Mom... certainly defends her young from the many Swan on-lookers.  I find it interesting that even though most birds [such as Swans, Geese, etc] don’t prey on Ospreys, [Ospreys] behave aggressively and attempt to chase them away from their nest.  I would think this is a waste of energy on their part, but maybe this behavior has some other purpose.”

From the upper left and going clockwise, Ming shot this photo of Osprey taking a run at a Mute Swan, who came too close to her nest.  Second, the female is show back on the nest, and one of the chicks is standing tall beside her.  Third, here is John, one of the regulars. Cool set-up, John! Last, Ming captured a great shot of the bird in flight.  Great pics, Ming! Thanks for sending these!

Ming Yao photo, used with permission

13 June 2013

An interloper Osprey riled things up at the Kensington nest today, reported Jane Purslow, who captured the shot to be included soon. This appears to be a different bird than bothered the nest before as it lacks the very distinct necklace of the earlier intruder. Jane also noted that the female caught the fish today, once at 09:30 and again at 14:00. Jane left at 16:00, and the male still hadn’t redeemed himself.

12 June 2013

Jim Kortge relayed a report from Karl Griffin. Karl observed “a wonderful sight to see an Osprey catching a Sunfish right in front of me while I was having my lunch” on Liberty Drive in Wixom.  How cool is that!  Jim believes that there must be a nest in the Wixom area as there have been other reports of Osprey there.

Jane Purslow has been keeping a really good eye on the Kensington Ospreys. Below is a family photo.

The babies at Kensington are growing fast! About a week ago, the heads were barely visible. Now the chicks are big enough to catch glimpses of their dorsal stripes.

Jane Purslow photo, used with permission

09 June 2013

Jane Purslow again sent in a series of photos of the Kensington Ospreys. They will be put up very soon so stay tuned!

08 June 2013

Karen Markey posted on the UMICH list, “Two Osprey soared and called high, high, high in the clouds and sunshine on Ann Arbor’s northeast side at 3pm just north of Plymouth Road and Georgetown Blvd.”

07 June 2013

Jane Purslow sent in a series of pictures of the Ospreys at Kensington.  The chicks are growing quickly!

Jane Purslow took this photo of the three babies at Kensington.  Two of the chicks have dark heads.  The third has a blonde head. This one is younger and will soon have a dark head like the siblings.

Jane Purslow photo, used with permission

06 June 2013

Barb Jensen relayed word this morning “that the count of chicks in the Kensington nest has now advanced from two hatchlings to three. This is amazing as this female has now produced three youngsters every year, beginning in 2004.”

03 June 2013

Barb Jensen forwarded some pictures from Jane Purslow. Excluding webcams, this is the first photograph of Osprey chicks this season. Apologies to Jane for the serious cropping below:

Jane Purslow captured this shot of one of the babies at Kensington.  You have to look closely, but you can see a head (or two?) being fed by Mom. Barb Jensen believes that the first chick was hatched on 23 May.

Jane Purslow photo, used with permission

02 June 2013

Bugsy Watson observed an interloper Osprey harassing the nest on Joy Road. The intruder actually sat momentarily on one of the antennae once and hovered close over the nest several other times. After a couple minutes of this, the resident Osprey drove the interloper away.

31 May 2013

Jim Kortge was up watching the Fenton nest late in the morning.  He “observed an Osprey in the nest, down low, as one would be if incubating. The male came in with a fish after about a half  hour of observing, left it in the nest, and proceeded to roost on one of the antennae.  My conclusion: this nest is doing well and will produce chicks in about another seven to ten days, as they are behind most nests due to having to rebuild. Quite exciting!!”

Jim Kortge also reported that he’s been watching the FSU nest, where mom is feeding three healthy chicks.  “All are getting as much as they can eat, at least at the times I’ve been watching.

Barb Jensen dropped a quick note to voice her worry about the Kensington nest. The Eagles are continuing to harass the pair there.

29 May 2013

Jane Purslow captured some amazing shots of a Bald Eagle / Osprey encounter at Kensington.

These are just two of the photos that Jane took on the 29th showing the invasion by the Bald Eagle.  Note that no adult Osprey is on the nest. This picture is of Mom chasing off the intruder with no one to protect the young. Apparently, Dad was in the process of chasing away an errant Osprey during this Eagle encounter.

Jane Purslow photos, used with permission

25 May 2013

At 18:20, Barb Jensen noticed that the Ferris State male was feeding the female, and she suspected possibly a chick had hatched.  At 18:25, the male came in with a stick, the female got up, and under her were two eggs and one little baby! Now Barb has observed similar behaviors at the Kensington nest and believes that there is a little one in that nest, too and will check tomorrow morning. Here we go!!

22 May 2013

Barb Jensen got a call from Craig Wickham, the tree trimmer with the bucket truck in Hillsdale County who keeps tabs on the Skuse Road nest.  Craig just checked the contents of the nest, and there were three tiny babies inside. Barb’s calculations indicate the eggs should begin hatching at Kensington tomorrow.

Barb Jensen checked the nests in Ortonville. Both are active. Hal Norris had just been there looking at those same nests, so they must have just missed each other.

Hal Norris reported that the birds were on the Inwood Road nest.

19 May 2013

Barb Jensen, who was part of the project, sent in the story of the new nest at Point Mouillee, complete with pictures.  This is a such a feel good story- a demonstration of cooperation and caring by many groups.

Barb Jensen relayed a message from Jason Cousino that both the Carlson High School (Rockwood/Woodruff Road) and the Humbug Marsh (Jefferson Road/Vreeland Road) nests still have birds on them.  It appears that things are progressing nicely in Wayne County.

17 May 2013

Eric Schmitt “found a new nest yesterday at the Hadley Township Fire Department cell tower.  [It is] not constructed well, but building could still be in process.  No birds [were] spotted during my brief visit. Also, [I] confirmed that it was not there last year. I suspect the Metamora pair could be bouncing back and forth between the townships. More observations [are] needed.”

16 May 2013

From Barb Jensen: “DTE gets an A++++.  The nest was moved successfully to state land for all to enjoy. Again, thank you, DTE. Thanks to Fred [Drotar] for checking the platform. These adults overcame the trauma of having their nest moved and demonstrated their intelligence and devotion to their future family.  Way to go, DTE!!”

14 May 2013

Barb Jensen forwarded a photograph taken by Lou Waldock during a chase scene at Kensington MetroPark. This photo now appears at the head of this page. Thanks, Lou, for this dramatic shot!

This photo was taken by Lou Waldock during a chase between the male Osprey at Kensington and a hungry Bald Eagle on 14 May 2013. The Eagle was trying to steal the Osprey’s fish. The Osprey won this encounter and chased the intruder out of sight.  Great photo, Lou!!

Louis Waldock photo, used with permission

10 May 2013

Barb Jensen sent in this update on discussions she had with Jason Cousino from DTE regarding the removal of the Osprey nest from the power pole on private land within the Rockwood landfill. “The suggestion was made to place the platform on USFWS property located on the opposite side of the landfill.  I expressed my concerns about putting another platform on federal property due to the fact that they make it extremely difficult to access their properties and, hence, the resident Ospreys on the Estral Beach platform. I didn’t want that problem again with a second nest site if we could avoid it.  While we were discussing the alternative of installing it on the farmer’s property across the road, who by the way, was receptive to the idea, Joe Robison emailed saying that the location on the map which appeared to be FWS property was actually Pte. Mouillee property, and DTE was welcome to put the platform there.  Score one for Joe!! So, if all the logistics get worked out, soon the platform will be installed on State land this coming Tuesday or Wednesday.”

09 May 2013

Jim Kortge checked out the Linden nest.  He observed one male with a metallic band on his right leg, who passed the tower about one minute before the tower male arrived for the second time whilst Jim was there.  An employee of a nearby company told Jim that there were a pair of birds on the tower when he got to work and that the male brought in a large fish shortly after he got there.  The employee has been watching this pair of Osprey for about a week.

Dave Southward wrote in to give an update on the Camden nest.  Jim Kortge said that it “sure sounds like the Ospreys are liking their new digs. Another success story. Thanks again to all who were a part of this venture, or should it be Adventure!” Recall that Consumers Energy and a boy scout troop built a beautiful new nesting platform to replace the original one which was precariously located on a power pole and caused a power outage.

Barb Jensen forwarded some pictures from Walter Chavez of the intruder female at the Kensington nest.

This picture shows the sixth and seventh primary flight feathers are damaged on the female intruder.  It would be interesting to know how that happened.  This picture also shows that she has a very distinct “necklace”.  Thanks, Walter, for this very nice photograph!

Walter Chavers photo, used with permission

08 May 2013

Lisa Clark from Crown Castle reported a new nest in one of the Crown Castle cell towers. Barb Jensen says that it “looks like some birds have been busy. So many Ospreys have been showing up and investigating towers where already established pairs are nesting. Apparently, the pair at this Linden tower decided they were unwelcome and are starting to build their own ‘house’. Good for them!”

02 May 2013

Jim Kortge reported that “the Ferris female stood up while [he] was watching this morning, and she is now incubating three eggs!  It will be interesting to see how many hatch.”


Earlier reports from this year can be found here.

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