After a pair of Osprey began nest-building activities on a Holy Cross Energy utility pole in 2010, a nest platform was installed nearby. This nest, located in Emma, Colorado, sits on the platform, which is located in a riparian ecosystem between Highway 82 and the Roaring Fork River. No young birds were reared that year, but the Osprey pair’s return in 2011 was anticipated. Since 2011, these Osprey have returned each year to the relocated nest. One or two young Ospreys have fledged from this nest in most years since then, and three chicks fledged in 2019. Ospreys often choose nesting sites near where they hatched. This means that some of the other Ospreys in the Roaring Fork Valley may be related to, or are offspring of, the Emma pair. This year, we have a nesting pair of Osprey at Hallam Lake!
In the fall of 2015, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails partnered with Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, the Pitkin County Healthy Rivers and Streams Board, Pitkin County Information Technology and Holy Cross Energy to install a wildlife camera on a pole adjacent to an active Osprey nest. The camera streams live footage each spring and summer, capturing the real-time activities of a pair of nesting Ospreys that return each year to breed.
Click here for more information about the Osprey in Emma, CO.
Facts about Ospreys
- Ospreys nest in areas close to water (they must be within a 12-mile radius) and eat fish almost exclusively. They are excellent anglers! Once they have caught a fish, they will hold it in their talons so that it is parallel to their body to reduce draft as they fly to where they will eat it.
- Ospreys are monogamous and often mate for life!
- They can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
- To learn more about the Osprey, including its calls, range and life history, visit The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds Guide.