As with all nesting seasons, 2022 has had highs and lows across South Australia’s breeding ospreys. 

Sustained bad weather throughout spring may have impacted the ability for adult birds to forage and we believe this has led to the loss of at least one of the chicks at the Port Lincoln barge nest. This may have been more widespread across the state, but as yet we are not sure of the chick survival rates. 

We know that our elevated nesting platforms are quickly starting to pay environmental dividends by providing safe nesting locations for osprey at known nesting locations. The installation of these platforms is a key part of the work of Friends of Osprey and we believe that in just the second year of these platforms being in place (and the first in many cases), they are providing a solution to one of the greatest challenges that ospreys face in South Australia, that being the provision of sites where ospreys feel safe from human disturbance and predation by feral predators such as foxes. 

Osprey occupied territories on Yorke Peninsula have now increased from one in 2017 to five in 2022.  The most significant is the Osprey pair on the Point Davenport platform as this location did not have an established resident pair present prior to the artificial nest platform being installed and the Gleesons Landing site which is the first time in 12-years that Ospreys have successfully produced young at this site.

An update on a number of our nesting sites is outlined below: 

Port Lincoln barge nest 

This nest (which is live streamed on YouTube) started out with three chicks as it did in 2021. However, unlike 2021, where all three male chicks fledged, only one chick has survived to fledging stage. One of the chicks failed to thrive and was subject to siblicide at 24 days old (this is not uncommon and a natural part of the world of raptors and apex species), while another was lost at 44 days during a sustained period of bad weather when its parents were unable to secure adequate food supplies for both remaining chicks. 

The surviving chick, a female named Zoe by Friends of Osprey patron, Janet Forster, is doing well, having fledged and being regularly seen practicing her diving skills off the perches on the barge. While we would have liked to have seen higher productivity from this nest and the clearly highly capable parent birds, we are still delighted to have one healthy female bird progressing towards adulthood. 

Zoe has been banded and fitted with a GPS tracker to help Friends of Osprey follow her future journey. 

Price nest, Wills Creek Conservation Park 

This artificial platform was installed by the Southern Yorke Peninsular Land Care Group and this initial work has provided a blueprint for other platforms to be installed by the Friends of Osprey. It was taken up immediately by the local pair of birds and they successfully raised 2 young in 2021.  One young from 2021 breeding season was fitted with a satellite tracker and travelled to Kangaroo Island where it has settled into the Pelican Lagoon area for over 9 month.

This nest has again been used by the pair in 2022 and two male young were recently banded, with one fitted with a GPS tracker. 

Gleesons Landing 

The Gleesons Landing nest is a real success story for Friends of Osprey and local volunteers. This nest site has a long history of nesting failure primarily due to human disturbance factors and possibly predation.  The Gleesons Landing artificial nest platform was installed in May 2022 and almost immediately the nest was taken up by a pair of Ospreys.  This is the first time in 12-years that Ospreys have successfully produced young at this site.  The adult pair have one chick which appears to be doing well. 


Point Davenport Conservation Park

The Point Davenport nest is also a success story for Friends of Osprey and local volunteers. Historically there have been no Ospreys recorded breeding in this area and in 2022, following the installation of an artificial nest platform, a pair of Ospreys have taken up this site.  The pair laid 3 eggs this year however no young have been produced possibly because this is a young and inexperienced pair.   This is the first time in SA that a pair of Ospreys have adopted an artificial nest platform in an area where there has been no established breeding.

Point Yorke 

Friends of Osprey also monitor a nest at Point Yorke on Yorke Peninsula.  This is a natural nest on a remote section of privately-owned land on the Yorke Peninsula. This nest appeared a few years ago following the regular failure of a nesting pair of Ospreys at a popular Tourist Lookout near Marion Bay.  The adult pair have successfully bred again this year (2022) at Point Yorke.



Friends of Osprey also monitor an Osprey nest on a Telecommunication Tower at Edithburgh on Yorke Peninsula.  The Ospreys have nested on this structure again this year however it is not known if young have been produced at this stage. This nest relocation to an artificial nest platform nearby will be a priority in 2023 to ensure the Osprey can successfully breed and raise young during the next breeding season.


Thistle Island 

Friends of Osprey also monitors a nest on Thistle Island, a privately-owned island found off Port Lincoln on the Eyre Peninsula. This is a long-term nest which has been active for many years. This nest produced one young this year which was fitted with a satellite tracker.

Bay of Shoals nest, Kangaroo Island 

Installed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA in 2020, this nest was relocated several hundred metres offshore, and again is occupied this year (2022) with 3 young recently fledged. 

Friends of Osprey have identified Kangaroo Island as another key area for osprey recovery given the presence of a fragile population on the island. To aid further research of the species on the island, a female chick was fitted with a satellite tracker at Cape Gantheaume Conservation Park in December.  

Tumby Island Conservation Park 

After predation of the eggs by a fox in 2021 an artificial platform was installed at Tumby Island Conservation Park in May and the birds moved straight on to the nest within hours of its installation.   

Two eggs were laid this breeding season but did not hatch. The eggs have been removed under permit and taken to the Adelaide Museum for analysis to see if a cause can be determined. The birds are still in the area and we are hopeful of a better result in 2023.

Other artificial platforms 

Located at Port Broughton, Sheaoak Flat and the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary (north of metropolitan Adelaide) three other artificial platforms appear from observations not to have nesting ospreys this year, although there have been sightings of ospreys on or around these platforms.

Other sites of interest

Cummings Monument, Kiana, Eyre Peninsula 

The nest at Cummings Monument has blown over in strong winds for the second year in a row.   The nest was rebuilt by the pair last year but sadly not well enough to withstand the strong winds that the area experienced in September.

Cape Wiles, Whalers Way, Eyre Peninsula 

A pair of Osprey have been regularly sighted at a very old nest site at Cape Wiles.   There is clear evidence that the birds were rebuilding the nest but as far as we know they have not nested this year.   

Wanna West lookout, Lincoln National Park, Eyre Peninsula 

Located on an inaccessible rock stack, this nest can be viewed from afar using high quality binoculars or telescopes. 

A check of the nest after bad weather did not reveal any birds at the nest so it is thought that this nest has also failed for 2022.