Springtime birdwatching on Cape Cod is a joy

Many birds are there year-round, but the osprey return in March

Judy Underwood

Osprey returning on the first day of spring, 2007

I arrived on the Cape on March 19th. In the late afternoon, I went to check the nearby nest. No sign of the osprey pair. The next morning, the first day of spring, they were back. They immediately went to work to add material to the nest for this season. With a wingspan of 4-6', they are grand to watch. There are numerous platform nests for osprey throughout New England. One of the platform nests at Wood's Hole is monitored by a webcam, where you can monitor the progress of the chicks through the summer.

When viewing the webcam, notice the small birds that help with house-keeping.

Bringing material for the nest

The osprey pair return to the same nest each year. The females usually lay three eggs in late April. The eggs hatch in early June and the fledglings leave the nest around the end of July.

Black-capped chicadee

Many smaller birds winter on the Cape. The goldfinch becomes so colorful during the breeding season.

Male American goldfinch

Female American goldfinch

The wethead

Tufted titmouse

Male cardinal

Female cardinal


Mute swan, aggressive posture

Where there is a bird feeder, there is a squirrel!

This bud's for you

All photos: Judy Underwood

May, 2007