Meet Our Ospreys and Other Wildlife

Meet Oscar!


Welcome to the Maryland Osprey and Nature Festival. The Chesapeake Bay supports the largest Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) breeding population in the world. While the widespread use of toxic pesticides pushed populations of the fish-eating raptor to an estimated low of 1,450 breeding pairs in the early 1970s, a 1972 ban on the pesticide DDT helped populations recover. By the mid-1990s, an estimated 3,500 breeding pairs were found on the Bay and its tidal tributaries. Estimates from the Center for Conservation Biology place the Bay’s current Osprey population at eight to 10,000 breeding pairs, with the world population estimated at fewer than 100,000 birds. Similar population decline and recovery stories exist for Bald Eagles, Brown Pelicans, and Peregrine Falcons.

Maryland Osprey and Nature Festival is a grassroots movement initiated by the citizens of Calvert County, and the citizens throughout the State of Maryland. It is imperative to gain support and collaboration of our local government, statewide conservation and wildlife rehabilitation agencies, local and international businesses, and military community who share our goals and mission: Education, Conservation, Celebration of our beautiful surroundings, nature, and wildlife.

The amazing rebound of Ospreys has exceeded the availability of natural nesting sites. Human-made nesting structures are rarely unoccupied, and Ospreys are now nesting on cell towers and lighting structures. This can create conflicts with human values and needs. 

This Festival was created to celebrate our charismatic Ospreys and educate the public, agencies, and owners of structures to foster an attitude of co-existence and conservation awareness in Calvert County and throughout the Bay. Proceeds from the Festival go to non-profit organizations who have a vested interest in protecting and conserving Ospreys, Bald Eagles, other wildlife, and natural areas of Maryland.  Our 2022 recipient was Owl Moon Raptor Center, a facility that rehabilitates injured raptors with the goal of releasing them into the wild.  Thanks to the Maryland Bird Conservation Partnership for being the fiscal host for the Maryland Osprey and Nature Festival.