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The Osprey Family of Ocean Beach

Local birders have been flocking to Ocean Beach's Robb Field in recent weeks. One big draw has been the osprey family that has nested atop one of the park's light poles. This family of four includes a proud pair of parents and two chicks, who appear to be about 3/4 of the way to full size.

Wikipedia says that osprey nests usually consist of "a large heap of sticks, driftwood and seaweed" and that Osprey mates - who usually stick together for life - work together for a five-month period to raise their young.

While I was filming the ospreys at Robb Field, "Dad" flew off toward the San Diego River at one point. A few minutes later, he came back with a large fish in his talons. When I left, he was snacking on the fish by himself, but Steve Rowell - one of the birders on the scene, and the knowledgeable narrator whose voice is heard in the video - told me that Dad would eventually bring the fish to the nest for Mom and the kids to enjoy.

Another attraction drawing birders to Robb is the female snow bunting (not shown in the video) who has been spotted in the area. Snow buntings are average-sized birds of the Arctic region that travel south in the winter.

During their winter migration, snow buntings usually make it down to the northernmost states of the U.S. before turning around and heading back north. So it would be unusual to see a snow bunting as far south as Northern California - and it is unheard of to see one in San Diego.

In fact, the snow bunting currently residing at Robb Field is the first to be confirmed as a visitor to San Diego County. And as any local birder will tell you, the count of bird species seen locally had previously stood at 499 - meaning the snow bunting of Robb Field represents the 500th species to spread its wings in San Diego.

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Local birders have been flocking to Ocean Beach's Robb Field in recent weeks. One big draw has been the osprey family that has nested atop one of the park's light poles. This family of four includes a proud pair of parents and two chicks, who appear to be about 3/4 of the way to full size.

Wikipedia says that osprey nests usually consist of "a large heap of sticks, driftwood and seaweed" and that Osprey mates - who usually stick together for life - work together for a five-month period to raise their young.

While I was filming the ospreys at Robb Field, "Dad" flew off toward the San Diego River at one point. A few minutes later, he came back with a large fish in his talons. When I left, he was snacking on the fish by himself, but Steve Rowell - one of the birders on the scene, and the knowledgeable narrator whose voice is heard in the video - told me that Dad would eventually bring the fish to the nest for Mom and the kids to enjoy.

Another attraction drawing birders to Robb is the female snow bunting (not shown in the video) who has been spotted in the area. Snow buntings are average-sized birds of the Arctic region that travel south in the winter.

During their winter migration, snow buntings usually make it down to the northernmost states of the U.S. before turning around and heading back north. So it would be unusual to see a snow bunting as far south as Northern California - and it is unheard of to see one in San Diego.

In fact, the snow bunting currently residing at Robb Field is the first to be confirmed as a visitor to San Diego County. And as any local birder will tell you, the count of bird species seen locally had previously stood at 499 - meaning the snow bunting of Robb Field represents the 500th species to spread its wings in San Diego.

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Is this the same Osprey family that was nesting on top of that boat in the bay? If so, why did they move? If not, is this is another family of Osprey that has taken up residence in Ocean Beach? If it's an additional family, that's awesome!

May 17, 2009

Thank you for capturing that on "film"!! Your videos are award-worthy. Seriously, you should consider doing a documentary on Ocean Beach. This sounds really cheesy, but when I watch these I get goosebumps. There is a ton of history here. My husband grew up in Point Loma, and he and his friends remember when the Hell's Angels took up residence in OB briefly, and also when the Strand showed X-rated movies. Not that that is important, but it is interesting. In the village of Point Loma, what is now La Scala used to be a bar called "The Booby Trap". You can guess what kind of bar it was. Our peninsula is a veritable smorgasbord of stories. You strike me as someone with the talent to bring it to life. Think about it!

May 23, 2009
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