Osprey, which are commonly called River Hawks, were almost extinct prior to the 1970s.

At Camp Jordan Park, you'll find more than softball, baseball, and soccer players. A new Osprey chick is less than 90 days old. Osprey eat mostly fish. The pond at Camp Jordan makes dinner time convenient for this large raptor.

"The wingspan of the bird is five and a half feet. I've seen the bird spread its wings and not go over the side of the nest," says President of the Tennessee Ornithological Society, Danny Gaddy.

While the bird weighs only three pounds, their nest, made of sticks, grows each year reaching up to 400 pounds. Eggs are laid in March and April. Chicks are hatched by May or June. 

The South Chickamauga Creek Greenway Alliance, the Tennessee Ornithological Society, and the Tennessee Sierra Cherokee Group are sponsoring an osprey watch at Camp Jordan Park, Saturday from 9am-1pm. Gaddy says their goal is to educate about how rare the raptor is.

"This bird was almost wiped out from something that people did unknowingly," adds Gaddy.

It was a synthetic compound used as an insecticide from 1945-1971. It disrupted female reproduction and made egg shells thinner. That compound was banned in the U.S. in 1972. 

"It actually killed raptors, like osprey, eagles, hawks," states Gaddy.

In 1979, the TWRA and TVA in Chattanooga started a program to bring osprey back. The program is working, but specific numbers are not available because of migration patterns. The proof is in the number of nests like the one at Camp Jordan Park. The watch this weekend is free, and open to the public underneath the picnic pavilion with opportunities for photos. They ask if you have scopes or binoculars, to please bring them. 

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