Center for Conservation Biology

July 19, 2024
Resident Canada goose incubates a clutch on an osprey nest within the lower Chesapeake Bay. The goose population has grown rapidly and their interaction with osprey is rising sharply in the Bay. Photo by Bryan Watts.

Resident Canada geese and osprey

By Bryan Watts7/17/24 Historically, the Canada goose was a migratory species throughout most of the United States arriving in November to most wintering grounds and leaving […]
July 18, 2024
An eagle with a CCB transmitter carries a fish below the Conowingo Dam. Throngs of eagles come to the lower Susquehanna from throughout eastern North America to feed and loaf in the area. Photo by Ted Ellis.

Lower Susquehanna Eagles

By Bryan Watts7/17/24 For bald eagles along the Atlantic Coas the Chesapeake Bay is a focus, and within the Chesapeake Bay the Conowingo Dam on the […]
July 18, 2024
A brood of osprey in Mobjack Bay showing a well-fed chick (left) and an emaciated chick (right). The chick on the right would die the following week due to starvation. Work in Mobjack Bay over a 40+ year period has shown that both reproductive rates and food delivery rates have declined dramatically. The decline in provisioning has led to an increase in brood reduction or chick loss due to starvation. Photo by Bryan Watts.

Recent Literature published by CCB

By Bryan Watt7/13/24 In recent months CCB biologists have published several papers in academic journals.  These articles report on recent findings and are intended to spread […]
July 18, 2024
Lizzie Arthur, an undergraduate student intern from W&M, working with the CCB osprey team during 2024 uses an extendable mirror pole to check the contents of a nest in the Chesapeake Bay. Photo by Bryan Watts.

The 2024 Osprey Field Season

By Bryan Watts7/13/24 Like blue crabs and salt marshes, the osprey is interwoven into the fabric of the Chesapeake Bay culture.  Many generations of Bay residents […]
July 18, 2024
Adult female peregrine with brood on the Eastern Shore. This female was six years old in 2023 and in her prime. She was one of 12 adults known to be lost between 2023 and 2024. Photo by Bryan Watts.

Adult turnover spikes in Virginia peregrines raising alarms about the potential impact of avian flu

By Bryan Watts 7/18/23 Between 2023 and 2024, Virginia peregrine falcons experienced a spike in adult turnover.  The mean replacement rate (percentage of identified individuals lost) […]
April 2, 2024

Where Wayne’s Warblers Dwell 

By: Chance Hines 4/2/24  The Great Dismal Swamp is one of the largest intact wetland ecosystems in the eastern United States and the expansive wilderness creates a […]
March 30, 2024

Become an OspreyWatcher – It’s fun and easy

By: Bryan Watts4/2/24  CCB is thrilled to announce the launch of OspreyWatch 2.0.  With support from conservationists Briscoe and Kenan White and innovative programmer Jim Verhagen […]
March 30, 2024

Four generations of W&M graduate students collaborate on osprey paper

By: Bryan Watts4/1/24 The Biology Department within William & Mary has been a center for osprey work for more than 50 years.  Over that time, the […]
March 30, 2024

Cormorants add colonies but decline in coastal Virginia

By: Bryan Watts3/31/24  On the 29th of May 1978, Charlie Blem, the ornithologist in the biology department at Virginia Commonwealth University, was checking a cattle egret […]
March 30, 2024

Pewee and Bomber 

By: Bryan Watts3/30/24  I carried two pairs of welders’ gloves and Stan Wiemeyer carried a wide-mouthed hand net as we walked down a long line of […]
January 12, 2024

Join CCB on ScholarWorks

By: Bryan Watts1/4/2024 One of CCB’s objectives is to make information available that will have a positive impact on conservation outcomes.  CCB conducts primary conservation research.  […]
January 12, 2024

Peregrine falcon population continues to advance in Virginia

By: Bryan Watts1/4/2024 The Virginia breeding population of peregrine falcons continued its slow advance in 2023.  The known population reached a record 35 breeding pairs.  The […]
January 11, 2024

Moving Osprey

By: Bryan Watts1/4/2024 We put in on Hoskins Creek in Tappahannock and ran out to the open Rappahannock River.  Mitchell Byrd was at the helm of […]
January 11, 2024

CCB and Ipswich Sparrow Winter Studies

By: Chance Hines12/18/2023 Ipswich sparrows make their home in the coastal dunes of the mid-Atlantic where CCB has studied them since the mid-2000s. While the bulk […]
January 11, 2024

By Design

By: Bryan Watts1/2/2024 There is something inspirational about walking through a Frank Lloyd Wright house or inspecting a George Nakashima bench.  The organic lines and wholeness […]
October 4, 2023

Whimbrels turn back in the face of late summer storms

By: Chance Hines10/5/23 While temperatures outside continue soaring, the shortening days and falling leaves remind us that autumn is nearing. This time of year also finds […]
October 3, 2023

The resilient eagles of Jamestown

By: Bryan Watts10/1/23 We sat together in silence as if in a Quaker meeting.  He perched on a limb next to a large nest and me […]
October 3, 2023

Yellow-crowned night-herons thrive along the Lafayette River

By: Bryan Watts9/29/23 The yellow-crowned night-heron has found its sweet spot along the Lafayette River in Norfolk, VA.  The species expanded its breeding range north along […]