This year, park rangers, volunteers, and visitors at English Camp watched ospreys and two young in their nest high up on a snag, and saw the fledglings practice flying over the parade ground.
This nest has been rebuilt twice since it was first constructed in 1996. The second time was this year, when a windstorm with gusts up to 90 mph blew the nest out of its perch.
One of the largest birds of prey in North America, theosprey stands nearly two feet tall, weighs up to 70 ounces, and has a wingspan of 5-6 feet. Look for the white breast and belly and black backand long, narrow wings, which are angles and bowed down, much like a gull. In fact, you may confuse an osprey with a gull in flight.
A black eye stripe bisects a white crownand forehead. Thefemales are larger and tend to have fuller, darker chestbands. Once you hear them, their short, shrill whistles are easy identifiable.
Did You Know?
American Camp's Officers' Quarters, built in 1859-1860, is the oldest structure on San Juan Island. It may have once been home to Capt. George E. Pickett of Civil War fame.