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PHOTO: Sign of Spring: Osprey Return to Forest Preserves of Cook County Nesting Platforms

Apr 6, 2018

A sure sign of spring in the Forest Preserves of Cook County is sightings of various migrating birds. One species of migrating birds, osprey, has been spotted at nesting platforms in the Forest Preserves.


“The osprey have been in Central and South America over winter and faithfully return to our nesting platforms with their partners to have their chicks,” explains Melina Frezados, wildlife technician with the Forest Preserves. “[When building the nests] the male will bring sticks up to the female and she either takes it and settles it carefully into the nest or rejects it by tossing it over the side.”


Since 1999, the Forest Preserves of Cook County has had the most successful urban osprey propagation programs of its kind in North America, providing osprey with 20 nesting platforms throughout the county.


Forest Preserves wildlife biologists monitor active osprey nests, visiting each one in early summer to band and check on the health of the osprey chicks inside. When the young osprey are old enough to leave the nest, they will travel to the Gulf of Mexico to spend the first two to three years of their lives reaching maturity. Then the ospreys’ powerful instinct to return to the area of their birth compels them back to Cook County.


Learn more about the Forest Preserves’ osprey program:




PHOTO: Osprey are Back_FPCC, taken by Melina Frezados of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, features a male and female osprey building their nest at Baker’s Lake in northwest Cook County.

Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County