The Osprey Get A New Home


For the last two years, we have watched our two ospreys come and go from Belle Grove. They arrive in March to the same chimney every year. Our first year visiting Belle Grove, we named them “James” and “Dolley”. Last year, James and Dolley had two babies. You may have remembered them from our YouTube video.

This year we were racing to get their nest moved from atop of the chimney to a new nest platform pole. We knew that once they arrived back in March, if we didn’t get their nest moved and a chimney cap placed, we would have another year (March – September) with them nesting on the roof.

We did our research and found the information on how to build the platform and how to place the nest. We got really lucky too. We needed to have a telephone pole moved a little farther off the drive way to make room for the expansion of the drive. This move would mean that they would have the old pole to dispose of. So instead of trashing the pole, we requested to keep it. Dominion Power gives it to us and even offered to “plant” it for us if we showed them where to place it. Best part, it would be for free!

Brett builds the nest platform

Brett builds the nest platform

Brett builds the nest platform

Brett builds the nest platform

Brett builds the nest platform

Brett builds the nest platform

So the race was on with the arrival of James and Dolley three weeks ago. The natural resource department told us we had until April 16th to get the nest moved. One thing though. If the nest had eggs in it, we were stuck. We couldn’t move it until there were no eggs or fledgling in the nest.

So Monday was the day!

Dominion Power showed up around 9am with a “boom” truck. While we waited for the others to come, the supervisor decided to use the “boom” to see if there were any eggs.


So he got the truck positioned and up.. up.. up he went.


Dolley was “buzzing” around, watching him and called out at him.

In minutes, he signaled down to us… 3!

We have 3 eggs!

No moving the nest this year.

So they removed the old pole and placed the new.



Then they brought the old pole back to the bluff and placed the platform on the end for me.






Then they planted it in a location we have seen both James and Dolley hanging out in.


It looks so good!

Just too bad they won’t use it until next year.

By then we will have the nest removed and the chimney caps on.

Until then, Dolley will be our “early alert system” as she calls out when someone comes too close to the house.


Thank you to Dominion Power for their help with raising to platform and checking the nest!

We couldn’t have done it without your help!

To see more pictures of the Osprey

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69 thoughts on “The Osprey Get A New Home

  1. Oh, I love you two for being so careful with the nest! Great story!

  2. petchary says:

    This is really awesome, great job guys! Ospreys are such magnificent birds. You are so lucky to have them. And three little ones to come! Cornell Bird Lab has “nest cams” on its website where it gives you live footage of babies hatching etc, which I love… Thanks for all these lovely photos!

  3. Really good blog and I am familiar with the area. I love shadows and dark. Great photo.

  4. becca givens says:

    Awesome story — great capture of the process as well!! Looking forward to more photos of the upcoming generation!

  5. What a project to undertake, good for you. πŸ™‚

  6. John says:

    Kudos and Congrats for undertaking and completing this project.

  7. Well done πŸ™‚ You are blessed with the Ospreys’ presence – and they are blessed to have such love and care from you πŸ™‚ I hope you don’t mind but I’ve shared this on Twitter. Truly lovely πŸ™‚

    • Thank you and thank you for sharing it! We love having them there to watch over the mansion and for the alerts we get from “Dolley” when someone comes close to the house. She is the best watch dog!

  8. lucindalines says:

    Great story even if it didn’t work for this year. This is a wonderful example of a company working with people. I hope they get more local publicity,this is super.

  9. This is so cool. Mya you have at least three healthy fledglings this year.

  10. Amy says:

    They did an amazing job for free! The effort of your research and Brett builds the nest platform is so awesome. I admire you guys!

  11. marydpierce says:

    I love this post! I love that you and Brett care not only for the history of Belle Grove but the osprey who make their home there. Great job of protecting it all!

  12. Tom Reeder says:

    Good for you! The fact that you went to that much effort for James and Dolley is an indication that you really know how to take care of your guests. Thanks for the photos and a “feel-good” post.

  13. iknead2knit says:

    I had no idea that a nest could be moved and the birds would return to it. How interesting!

  14. terry1954 says:

    Yeah for the Ospreys. Their new home is complete. Good job!

  15. Mama Bear says:

    I choose to believe that having to wait a year for the ospreys to move is a good thing. I’m sure Dominion Power did a great job planting that pole but I’d feel better if it survived the elements at least a year “just to be sure”. Plus, a year will more than “cleanse” it of human contact.

  16. dannijh says:

    That is fantastic! Here @ HYB in Sydney we have a Tawny Frogmouth (not an owl, apparently, even though it looks like one) visiting us regularly these last evenings….its such a beautiful bird – its got red eyes!!! Freaky, but delightful:)

  17. Great post and pics! Kudos to Dominion Power and Brett. Nice job!!

  18. metan says:

    What a great story! Good on you for doing your best to preserve the nest too. I will be looking forward to seeing the next Osprey post when the nest is moved. πŸ˜€

  19. Lynda says:

    This is so very exciting! Thank you for doing this! And thank you in advance for keeping us posted and the new hatchlings and next years nest building,
    (PS: The new Farmlet is a reality!)

  20. Thank goodness there are Samaritans like you and yours in this cruel world. Birds need all the help they can get. Good for you. I loved this post. Dianne

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  24. Jack Curtis says:

    Great! You build their apartment and all they have to do is lurk and add atmosphere…must be some decent fishing somewhere near…

  25. T Hollis says:

    Thanks for being a bird nerd! Can’t wait to hear about the hatchlings!
    Thanks for stopping by my Post!

  26. mmt2mmt says:

    I love this! We have Osprey nests all over Florida – I relish the tender loving care of these amazing animals!

  27. rick s says:

    Reblogged this on moon soup (no bowl, no moon) and commented:
    Cool! I am all about doing what we can to reverse habitat loss.

  28. mhdriver says:

    I love Osprey’s. I was sitting on the bank of the Rogue River in Oregon taking a break from fishing for steel head trout when I spotted it. I watched for awhile and al of a sudden she came swooping down and caught a thought almost to big for her to get air borne again. That is a sight I’ll never forget. Good for you for thinking of them as visitors.

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