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There’s two new predators in town, with more on the way.
The Golden Gate Audubon Society this week announced the first of three osprey eggs atop an old maritime crane on the Richmond waterfront hatched Saturday evening. A second one followed on May 3.
Since 2017, the society has had an osprey cam watching the nest of Rosie and Richmond, the bird couple dwelling 75 feet up, near the Red Oak Victory Museum and the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park.
If everything goes right, the new chicks will be joined by one more sibling at some point this week.
“The emergence of these chicks inspires hope on so many levels,” said Glenn Phillips, the executive director of Golden Gate Audubon. “It was just a couple of decades ago that osprey numbers were dwindling because of the pesticide DDT. Now, thanks to environmental protections, ospreys are raising families along the Bay shoreline. Nature can be so resilient — but it’s up to us to give it a chance.”
The society says ospreys weren’t known to nest along the Bay before the early 2000s. By 2016, volunteers counted 37 active nests that produced 51 fledglings. The number went up to 51 active nests, with 99 fledglings.
Ospreys are a large, distinct-looking type of hawk, their bodies brown on top and white below, with much of the face also covered in white feathers. They hunt fish and often can be seen hovering over a spot of water before diving in to grab their meal. Their wingspan stretches up to 6 feet.
Rosie and Richmond have been taking turns sitting on their eggs since March 24, when the first egg was laid. New chicks weigh less than 2 ounces and have a wingspan of about 3 inches. Their first flight happens when they’re about 55 days old, and they will stay in the area until August or so.