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Osprey nest near trail in Duquesne

Yale pointed out to me an osprey nest on the GAP trail beyond Kennywood, just north of milepost 136 in Duquesne. It is visible from the Port Perry Bridge over the railroad tracks. More pictures at
2015-07-12 00:22:48
Osprey populations have rebounded: Nest totals hovering around 100 were reported by volunteers, cooperators and staff during osprey surveys in 2010 and 2013. The osprey’s range is now statewide thanks to a series of successful reintroductions across the state and natural expansion of robust populations in the Delaware and Chesapeake bays into Pennsylvania’s southeastern counties. Pennsylvanians can provide valuable information and help researchers assess the current abundance and distribution of ospreys by reporting observations of nesting pairs through the Game Commission’s online Osprey Nest Survey. The osprey was listed as extirpated in Pennsylvania in 1979. As recently as 1986, the state had only one known nesting pair. Ospreys are large, striking, fish-eating birds of prey most often seen around water. They may exceed 24 inches in length and sport wingspans approaching six feet. Also referred to as "fish hawks," ospreys are dark brown above, bright white below, with some brown streaking on the breast. Key identification characteristics are the prominent dark eye stripes, black patches at the crooks of bent wings, and a characteristic silhouette.
2015-07-16 13:54:30
That's a pretty amazing close-up. I just hope people refrain from going into the pipe yard to get closer to the nest.
2015-07-20 18:22:49
Osprey can be fairly tolerant of disturbance. In the Chesapeake Bay, there are numerous nests on channel markers in heavily traveled boating areas that fledge their chicks very successfully. Standing under the nest most likely would not bother them, but the yard owners might not like you there. That tolerance does vary by individual though. I spent a summer measuring chick growth rate from hatch to fledging for a graduate project. I still have the shirt that was torn by the most intolerant adult. At least I knew to protect myself and did not get bloodied as my professor did.
2015-07-20 19:36:46
Has anyone seen the Ospreys this year?  Are they still nesting at this location? My daughter is in 1st grade and for her "animal report" assignment she chose the Osprey; I would love to take her to see this.  
2017-04-24 21:19:56
Yes, I've seen the ospreys in the Duquesne nest this year. Brooding behavior (taking turns in the nest) was observed starting on 4/15. I put some info about the nest at We're having a big organized bike ride on Sat. April 29, the Raptor Row Ride, to see eagles, hawks, owls, and other raptors, including these ospreys. I made two signs that are now in place at the end of the bridge. Below is the text of those signs. Pictures here: and   OSPREY Species: Pandion haliaetus, aka fish hawk. Diet: almost exclusively fish. Adult size: 2 foot body, 6 foot wingspan, up to 5 lbs. Color: dark brown above, white breast, dark eye stripes, black patches at the crooks of wings. Talons: outer toe is reversible, allowing it to grasp fish with two talons on each side (like owls but unlike other raptors). Adaptations for fishing: oily feathers shed water, holds fish head-first for aerodynamics. Nesting: A typical brood is 2 or 3 eggs laid in mid April. The female does most of the incubation. Eggs hatch in about 40 days, and the young begin to fly about 7 weeks later. Duquesne nesting: This nest has been active since 2014. In 2016 our pair of ospreys fledged 4 chicks - quite unusual! In 2017, brooding behavior was first observed on 4/15, so we could expect hatching ~5/25. Migration: Most ospreys that breed in Pennsylvania migrate south in Sept., winter in Central or South America, and return around April 1. Young ospreys stay south for their second and third years, after which they begin yearly migration and breeding. Range: all continents except Antarctica. Lifespan: typically 15-20 years. Population: Use of the pesticide DDT starting in the 1940s caused thinning of raptor eggshells and extirpation (local extinction) of ospreys within Pennsylvania in 1979. Most uses of DDT in the US were banned in 1972. In the 1980s and 90s, Chesapeake Bay ospreys were reintroduced into PA and the local osprey population has since recovered. In 2017, ospreys were removed from protected status, nationally. Nearby nests: shows 4 nests on the Ohio River between Sewickley and OH border. Google map of this nest: text: Paul Heckbert & Roy Bires, Steel Valley Trail Council. 2017/4.  
2017-04-25 11:07:58