Penny & Griffin are away from the nest. We hope they return next spring!

Unfortunately, our little Osprey family decided not to settle in for the season. Both Penny and Griffin were spotted at the nest throughout April carrying out normal nest activity – bringing nesting materials, rearranging the nest, bringing fish back to the nest, and mating. However, they didn't frequent the nest like they have in years past and eventually they just quit showing up all together. We aren’t exactly sure why, but it’s likely the pair found a new nest site this year. Maybe they found comfort in a cozier location (away from eagles). Whatever the reason, we hope to see them next year!

2021 Osprey Timeline



April 26, 2021 - Last sighting of Griffin at the nest!



April 15, 2021 - Griffin makes a quick stop at the nest!



April 9, 2021 - Griffin & Penny are spotted at the nest together!



April 8, 2021 - First Fish!



Oh no! There's an osprey trying to build a nest on a PUD 3 power pole!

Osprey love to nest on high structures near good fishing grounds, therefore tall power poles can look like a great place to build a nest. Their nests can cause power outages and fires when sticks interfere with electrical equipment.

Osprey and their nests are protected, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in charge of the conservation and management of these birds.  Osprey often use utility poles for nesting. As a result, there is a danger to the birds, and a risk to system reliability from outages and damage to equipment. Osprey have a high risk of electrocution when they build nests or perch on power poles. Their nearly 5-foot wingspan can complete a circuit between closely spaced, energized equipment, or between one energized wire and a neutral or ground wire.
The nest was not yet "active" when we found it in Summer 2017. It was still being built and there were no eggs or young present. We wanted to ensure this preferred nest site was not lost from the regional population, and reduce the likelihood of the resident pair re-nesting on the utility structure. To that end, PUD 3 employees designed, built, and set a platform near the developing nest. The nesting material was relocated to the platform, completely intact. 

Osprey migration patterns show that they usually arrive in Mason County in April and stay until late August or early September. They have high nesting site fidelity, meaning they will return to the same site year after year.

Expand All



June 29, 2020 - The Circle of Life

As you may have noticed, the nest is now empty. Our little osprey family met a startling end this evening. A bald eagle swooped in and plucked up all three chicks at once and carried them away.

We are feeling very sad after watching Penny and Griffin work so hard to raise these chicks only for them to vanish in an instant. C’est la vie. A bald eagle family will eat, and the osprey will try again next year.


June 24, 2020 - One of these three is not like the other

The chick that hatched last is much smaller than the other two. This can make it difficult for the chick to get enough nutrients because it is always in the back – not getting as much food. Penny has been spotted feeding the smaller chick while the two older siblings nap. Hopefully, this will be enough to sustain the youngest chick.



June 15, 2020 - Three hungry little mouths

Check out the newest addition - the third chick hatched on Friday, June 12 around 3:00 PM. The chicks will stay in the nest for about two months before testing out their wings and taking their first flight. In the meantime, Griffin and Penny will be busy feeding three hungry little mouths.



June 9, 2020 - I spy with my little eye...

Griffin brings breakfast to celebrate the hatching of not one, but two chicks last night! The first chick hatched June 8th at 8:20 PM and the second chick hatched at 11:36 PM. Congratulations to the new parents!!



May 21, 2020 9:25 AM - Penny (seen on right) protects the nest! 

Penny fiercely protected her eggs from an unwanted guest who approached the nest this morning.   



May 6, 2020 7:23 AM - Penny laid her 3rd egg!

Penny laid her third egg! Each egg was laid on the third day around 8:00 am. It is common for females to lay their eggs in a familiar pattern like this. We are very excited for our osprey pair and hope to see the osprey chicks hatch in about a month!


May 3, 2020 8:02 AM - And then there were two!

Shortly after the nest prowler, Penny laid the second egg!


May 3, 2020 Penny is on high alert!

Penny defends the nest against another female with loud guard calls and by flapping her wings. In areas with nest sites nearby, defense is critical and often intense.



April 30, 2020 8:47 AM - We have an egg!


Penny laid an egg! This is very exciting news for our Osprey family. Osprey lay between 1-3 eggs, 1-3 days apart. The female incubates them for about a month, all the while fiercely protecting the nest with her mate. During incubation, the male will defend the nest and do the hunting, brining food back to the nest for the female.


April 21, 2020 - The Birds & The Bees...

The female calls the shots for successful mating; she needs to raise her tail and tilt forward so the male can curl his tail under hers and achieve a ‘cloacal kiss’. A male will land on a female’s back many times without this final contact being made. Studies have shown only 30-40% of attempts are successful. Early copulations stimulate the growth of eggs within the female’s ovary and strengthen the pair bond. The last 3 or 4 days before eggs are laid are the most critical for fertilization.


April 20, 2020 - Variety is the Spice of Life!

Griffin was busy fishing this weekend. He delivered a total of 7 fish to the nest, including several rainbow trout, 2 flounders and a catfish! The typical menu for the pair involves two or three fish per day, but as the family grows Griffin will need to deliver about five fish each day.


April 15, 2020 - Ignorance is Bliss Griff!

Griffin is staying out of it while Penny defends the nest against another female. In past years we’ve seen 3 osprey at the nest. The addition of sound to our cameras really helps to tell the story!


April 15, 2020 - Home Improvements (Before & After)!

Penny and Griffin have been busy with home improvements during the Stay Home, Stay Healthy initiative. Here's the nest from the morning of April 14th to the afternoon of April 15th. Many new sticks and large patches of moss were added in a short amount of time. Nests on artificial platforms start relatively small, but adding to the nest year after year, osprey can end up with massive nests weighing up to 200 lbs.!


April 14, 2020 - Griffin has upped his game!

In past years, Griffin didn’t bring many fish back to the nest for Penny. This could’ve been one of the reasons they didn't have a successful nest with eggs. Penny had to leave the nest frequently to get food for herself. But this year, the couple was only reunited for one day when Griffin brought Penny her first lunch of the season.

An Osprey's food of choice is fish. As for the site of their nest, just like anyone who buys a home, it's location, location, location. That's why their nests are built within a mile of water.


April 13, 2020 - Reunited and it feels so good...

The couple didn’t waste any time! Nest construction and mating have already started. Griffin brings most of the nesting materials and Penny has been busy arranging the nest.


April 12, 2020 - Penny is on the scene!

Penny, our female osprey, showed up on the scene on Easter Sunday!


April 5, 2020,  11:22 AM - Griffin is that you?

 A male osprey arrived at the nest on Sunday morning. The first osprey sighting of 2020.



April 10, 2019 - Welcome Back!


Our female osprey Penny, was the first to arrive at the nest this year! 


April 15, 2019 - Griffin arrives at the nest


Usually the male arrives first. Not this year! Grffin must've had a few other stops to make!


April 18, 2019 - It appears the love triangle continues...


What the camera doesn't show is a third osprey circling the nest. Penny & Griffin are protecting their nest from this intruder.


April 30, 2019 - Penny works to prep the nest


The male usually fetches most of the nesting material - sometimes breaking dead sticks off nearby trees as he flies past - and the female arranges it. 


May 2, 2019 - Lunch time!


An osprey's food of choice is fish. While the female tends to the nest, the male hunts for the next meal.


May 3, 2019 - Crickets


Or should we say swallows? After May 3, 2019 there was nothing but swallows in the nest. Where did they go so early in the season? It's hard to say. We hope to see them back in 2020!



April 9, 2018, 2:00 PM - Hello Osprey!


A male osprey first made its appearance on April 9. Female osprey usually show up a little bit later. Hopefully this guy will start working on the nest!


April 15, 2018, 4:30 PM - Three's a crowd!


A female osprey first made its appearance on April 15. However, shortly after there were THREE osprey in the nest! We noticed two different males hanging around over the last few days. Two's company, but three's a crowd!

Nest construction has begun in earnest as sticks are brought up to the platform and meticulously arranged. As the season progresses, the female will hang out at the nest and the male will go fishing.


April 19, 2018, 9:30 PM - Where do the osprey go at night?


Maybe you've been keeping tabs on the osprey, but you've noticed an empty nest at night. 

The female osprey will stay at the platform when there are eggs or chicks in the nest, but both parents often sleep away from the platform when it's empty. Osprey seem to prefer to sleep or roost in nearby trees, much like eagles. When the female osprey is close to laying the first egg, she sometimes spends the night in the nest. 


April 23, 2018, 8:00 AM - Nest Construction Site


Osprey nest construction is in full-swing with changes to the arrangement and the addition of new materials daily. The male usually fetches most of the nesting material - sometimes breaking dead sticks off nearby trees as he flies past - and the female arranges it. This stick that he's delivering is about 5.5 feet long! You'll also notice several various mosses, which all seemed to de be delivered to the nest at about the same time. Nests on artificial platforms, especially in a pairs first season, are relatively small- less than 2.5 feet in diameter and 3 to 6 inches deep. After generations of adding to the nest year after year, osprey can end up with massive nests weighing up to 200 lbs.!


April 25, 2018, 3:30 PM - The Battle for the Nest Continues


As the male osprey work out just whose nesting spot this is, they take turns chasing each other off. They can get a little aggressive! Our view is limited to the perspective the camera is fixed at, so sometimes we only get to see half the battle!


Mother's Day 2018, 7:30 AM - Osprey really know how to treat mom right on Mother's Day!


Females get the benefit of courtship feeding before laying eggs, when their mates take on the full time job of bringing home the bacon, errrr... fish. Females use body language to send the message. Aha! says the male, she says it's time for me to do the grocery shopping.

An Osprey's food of choice is fish. As for the site of their nest, just like anyone who buys a home, it's location, location, location. That's why their nests are built within a mile of water.

Before hatching, the menu involves two or three fish per day. Once the chicks hatch, and become bottomless pits of hunger, the meal for the entire family grows to about five fish each day.

During courtship, the male Osprey returns from hunting with a dramatic display flight (sometimes called the fish flight) You can't see the flight on our camera. You can see the end results, with these few pictures of the female snatching her courtship meal from her mate as soon as he lands.


June 2018 - Say Hello to Penny & Griffin!


As recommended by PUD 3 customer, Wendi K., we have named our osprey pair Penny (female) and Griffin (male) after the Seattle Seahawks 2018 rookie picks. 

Rashaad Penny, running back, was the Seahawks first round pick this year. Shaquem Griffin, linebacker, joins his twin brother Shaquill, cornerback, on the team.

We look forward to cheering on our Seahawks for many years to come... both the football players and the osprey!


June 11, 2018 - Empty Nesters...


Honestly, we're a little concerned that there aren't any eggs in the nest yet. We've had quite a few customers ask, so we inquired with our local ornithologist:

  1. If females are inadequately fed they have to leave the nest for extended periods to forage for themselves and may not produce eggs. Penny leaves the nest often (most likely to forage) so maybe she is too malnourished for eggs?

  2. Younger females typically have multiple candidates trying to court them. We are still seeing two males hanging around (e.g. 06/07/18 at 10:48 am). This could be a good explanation because polygynous osprey are very rare.

  3. Younger osprey return to the nest site later and lay eggs later. Osprey typically return March to Mid-April. PUD 3 osprey were on the later end, another indication they could be younger.

  4. Osprey returning mid-to-late April typically lay eggs in May (peak time) to early June. PUD 3 osprey returned April 9th and 15th... ... ... So you're sayin there's a chance!?

  5. New pairs lay significantly later. Most of this leads us to believe Penny is a younger osprey and/or they are a new pair still trying to figure it out.


August 21, 2018 - Farewell to our Fine Feathered Friends!


We haven't seen our Osprey friends, Penny & Griffin, for several weeks. We're pretty sure they started their journey south for the winter; just a little bit earlier than expected. Perhaps it was the dry heat? Perhaps it was because they didn't have any chicks this year (see above)? Maybe they are still young and figuring life out? Either way, we're thankful for the time we got to spend watching their habits and getting a special view into the lives of our fine feathered friends. Until next year...

Banner 2