RICHMOND, Calif. (KRON) — A live nest cam in the San Francisco Bay Area captured an Easter-perfect moment when Rosie the wild seahawk laid her first egg of the spring.
The giant white and orange-speckled egg appeared on Tuesday, but the chick inside will not hatch until May, according to the Golden Gate Audubon Society.
Seahawks, also known as Ospreys, have five-foot wingspans and take care of their eggs in loyal pairs. Rosie’s partner is named Richmond because the pair built its nest along the Richmond shoreline.
“The Bay Area’s famous Osprey couple kicked off their sixth consecutive year of parenting yesterday,” the Golden Gate Audubon Society wrote.
Since the GGAS launched its live nest cam in 2017, the pair has produced three eggs every spring.
Rosie’s remaining eggs will likely be laid within the next four to six days.
The nest is located 75 feet up on the cabin of a Whirley Crane, an inactive shipyard crane located in the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historic Park.
“Rosie and Richmond inspire us each year when they return. They demonstrate true perseverance,” said Glenn Phillips, executive director of Golden Gate Audubon.
“Their nest was taken apart over the winter by a pair of Common Ravens nesting nearby, yet they re-built, and are back in action again this year,” Phillips said.
Rosie and Richmond will take turns incubating the eggs for 36-42 days, with hatching likely in mid-May.
Rosie migrates — possibly to Mexico or Central America — for the winter because she prefers warmer weather.
Richmond is one of just a few male Ospreys that overwinter in the Bay Area. They reunited in early March.
Rosie and Richmond have developed a dedicated group of fans around the world. Fans especially enjoyed Richmond’s eclectic choices for nesting material in past years, including several stuffed animals and a cushy toddler jacket.
“Anticipation is high on what will take his fancy this year,” Golden Gate Audubon wrote.
Last year Rosie and Richmond brought 764 fish for themselves and their three juveniles.
Beyond entertainment, the nest cam also contributes to science.
The number of Ospreys plummeted in the 1960s and 70s due to the pesticide DDT, which caused the shells of their eggs to thin and break. With the banning of DDT, Osprey populations have recovered, and this year at least 28 pairs are now incubating eggs along San Francisco Bay, with more just beginning the breeding cycle. In 2021 there were 93 young fledged from 40 successful nests.
Live streams of the nest cam are viewable at sfbayospreys.org , along with seahawk information and lesson plans for educators.