The Osprey Get A New Home

Apr. 9th 2013


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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Posted by Michelle Darnell | in Belle Grove History | 69 Comments »