Montana Osprey Cam Identification: Who’s who in the nest

Since neither of our Osprey are currently banded, we are often asked how viewers can tell the difference between the male and female.  To help you figure out which bird you are looking at on the webcam, we have put together this short paragraph on identification.

The female Osprey (as with most raptors) is usually bigger than the male.  Our two birds appear to be about the same size, but the female is slightly bulkier right now.  However, his identification feature is only helpful when the two birds are side-by-side.

Another trait of female Osprey is a more speckled chest area, or brown streaking on the chest.  The male of the species usually has a whiter chest area.  Our two Osprey appear to be very similar in streaking pattern (although the female has slightly more), so once again this trait isn’t helpful unless the two birds are side-by-side.

So how do we tell the two birds apart?  We have been using the crown and nape area of the Ospreys heads.  The male Osprey in this nest has more black in the nape area of his head that forms almost an hourglass shape with little white between the black on the nape and that on the forward crown.  The female Osprey in this nest has less black on her nape with a slightly triangular shape to the black area and a much larger white area between the black on the nape and that on the forward crown.