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Osprey Festival

Coming April 13, 2024

Oceanographic Magazine Cover Issue 32

The Osprey Festival is mentioned in the global British magazine Oceanographic. To read about the festival, purchase issue number 32 (pictured above) and read pages 94-101. This is a hard copy magazine with no online version.

The article is written by Cheryl Lyn Dybas with photographs by Jay Fleming and features quotes by event organizer Joanie Millward. 

2024 Osprey Fest flyer
Osprey Festival Sign

The Osprey Festival featured this and more in 2023:

  • Tours of nest locations
  • 56 vendors
  • Keynote speech by Dr. Bryan Watts from the Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William and Mary. $10 admission.
  • Vega the Turkey Vulture
  • Kate Garchinsky, who illustrated Belle’s Journey: An Osprey Takes Flight by Rob Bierregaard, will be on-site all day
  • Colonial Beach Elementary school 3rd graders will perform “The Osprey Song”

Colonial Beach's first annual Osprey Festival took over Town Hill and the surrounding areas from April 12 - 14, 2019.

2019: Live festival
2020: virtual festival
2021: virtual festival
2022: Live festival

This area is a prime region for bird watchers.

Many activities were incorporated into this event. Guide-led bird walks, bird talks, bus and golf cart tours with osprey experts to find nests and count baby birds.  

B.A.M.M. (Beach Arts Music and Mentoring) had a table set up where children will be able to paint bird houses and craft a bird feeder out of pine cones.

Artisan's Alliance (AA) member Karen Julihn did a free kids art project on Town Hill during the Osprey Festival on April 13, making Bird Houses and Feeders. 

Osprey Festival Schedule

Osprey Festival Schedule for 20222022s Osprey Festival Schedule

From DCB:

"We're looking for people who have an Osprey nest in their neighborhood and would be willing to share location, photographs, videos, report on what's happening and/or tell stories about them and send them to for use on the blog portion of the site.  We have an osprey expert who can provide interpretation about what's happening.  With your help we will also update our map of nest locations. Please send those in with street name and cross streets.   We will not share personal identification except first names if you are agreeable."

2019 Schedule of Events

9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. • Opening Ceremony, Blessing of the Birds, Announcements 
Raffle ticket sales at Downtown Colonial Beach booth for the Osprey mosaic created by Eric Nelson

Friday, April 12, 2019

10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m • Scavenger Hunt

5:00 p.m - 8:00 p.m.• “Cock” tail hours (may vary) at DocksideTides Inn MarketColonial Beach Brewing and High Tides on the Potomac

6:00 p.m - 9:00 p.m.• 2nd Friday Art Walk featuring bird-themed art at the following locations, listed in geographical order:

Colonial Beach Brewing (215C Washington Ave.)
Colonial Beach Artist Guild at Coldwell Banker Elite bldg. (233 N. Irving)
Potomac River Fisheries (222 Taylor Street)
Dockside Realty (104 Taylor Street)
Artist Alliance at Jarrett Thor Gallery (100 Taylor Street)
Chamber of Commerce (106 Hawthorne)
Visions by Shirl (116 Hawthorne)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Children's Activities:
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m •  Scavenger Hunt, Craft activities on Town Hill (making and painting bird houses and bird feeders). Story hour at 10:00 a.m.
11:00 a.m. • Citizen Science Program at the Library (20 Washington Ave.)

Boat Tours (weather permitting) to view Osprey nests from the water. $20. Boat leaves from pier next to the municipal pier.

8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. • Grand Ole O’spry Concert with Big Gavel Band at Dockside Restaurant and Tiki Bar

Sunday, April 14, 2019

8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.• Bird scavenger hunt at Westmoreland State Park Hunt cards can be obtained at the Visitor Center

10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m • Bluebird house trail walk at Stratford Hall  Walking, bird watching, and house tour at George Washington’s Birthplace

10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m • Scavenger Hunt

11:00 a.m.• Eagle tour at Caledon State Park (King George)

11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m • Visitor Center/Museum and Interpretive Walking Trail at President James Monroe Birthplace

3:00 p.m. • Owl-some afternoon at Caledon State Park

5:00 p.m • Drawing for winner of Osprey mosaic by Eric Nelson, Prize winners names drawn for winners of the Scavenger Hunt. JarrettThor Gallery, 100 Taylor St.

2nd Annual Scheduled for May 2, 2020 had to be cancelled. It will take place in a virtual form.

Osprey Festival Poster 2019
Osprey Festival flyer

3rd Annual Osprey Festival (2021) was virtual, again.

The birds are fish-eating diurnal birds of prey who nest in any location near a body of water that has an adequate supply of food. This single living species occurs nearly worldwide, which is unusual. The only continent they don't live on is Antarctica.

These raptors are large, measuring about 24" in length with a wingspan of about 70" The scientific name for them is Pandion haliaetus and an entire guidebook exists for landowners with information about relocation or removal of their nests, what is permitted and what is not, and a diagram for how to construct a nest platform.

Osprey Festival Art Show (2019)

This juried show ran from April 12 – May 5, 2019. The opening reception and Best of Show Award on Friday, April 12.
Enter your Ospreys, Waterfowl, and other birdlife. Both 2-D and 3-D entries are due March 15 by email to Rob Rudick,  Artwork drop off Monday, April 7, from 5 - 7 and Monday, April 8, from 11 - 12. $10 fee.

Osprey MuralAn Osprey in the mural on the Coldwell Banker Elite building

The National Audubon Society will be participating and conducting some more educational activities.

Downtown Colonial Beach is hosting this fundraising event along with support from local non-governmental organizations. 

Discounted prices are $10 for an Osprey ticket (single adult) and $15 for a Full Nest ticket (a couple or parents and chicks) through March 31st. Full priced tickets are for sale on-line.

Friday April 12th. 2019 from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM  

"Find the Bird" at the following locations:

  • Artists' Alliance at JarretThor Fine Arts (open until 9 pm) 
  • Attica 
  • The Beach Shop on the Boardwalk 
  • Colonial Beach Historical Society & Museum (only open Saturday & Sunday) 
  • Compulsive Cravings Antiques
  • Drift & Thrift 
  • Peddler's Market 
  • RAGGS 
  • Rankin's Furniture 
  • Visions by Shirl (open until 9 pm)

PRIZES INCLUDE (1st & 2nd Do not need to be present to win. Must pick-up Easter Basket.)

  • 1st Prize: Overnight at Riverview Inn, Gift Certificate for Dinner at Denson's Market and Restaurant, flight of craft brews from Colonial Beach Brewery. 
  • 2nd Prize: Original, handcrafted jewelry by Andrea Clement. See her jewelry at Coldwell Banker and her artwork at Artists' Alliance at JarretThor. 
  • Children's Prize: Take your children along (or children take your parents along). Easter Basket. Drawing will be held on Sunday April 14th

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