The most common reason for menopause is the natural decline in a female's reproductive hormones. However, menopause can also result from the following situations:
Oophorectomy: This surgery, which removes a woman's ovaries, causes immediate menopause. Symptoms and signs of menopause in this situation can be severe, as the hormonal changes happen abruptly.
Chemotherapy: Cancer treatments like chemotherapy can induce menopause quickly, causing symptoms to appear shortly after or even during treatment.
Ovarian Insufficiency: Also called premature ovarian failure, this condition is essentially premature menopause. It happens when a woman's ovaries quit functioning before the age of 40 and can stem from genetic factors and disease. Only 1% of women suffer from premature menopause, but HRT can help protect the heart, brain, and bones.
If you're a woman going through menopause and find that you have become increasingly depressed, you're not alone. It's estimated that 15% of women experience depression to some degree while going through menopause. What many women don't know is that depression can start during perimenopause, or the years leading up to menopause.
Depression can be hard to diagnose, especially during perimenopause and menopause. However, if you notice the following signs, it might be time to speak with a physician:
Remember, if you're experiencing depression, you're not weak or broken - you're going through a very regular emotional experience. The good news is that with proper treatment from your doctor, depression isn't a death sentence. And with HRT and anti-aging treatment for women, depression could be the catalyst you need to enjoy a new lease on life.
Hot flashes - they're one of the most well-known symptoms of menopause. Hot flashes are intense, sudden feelings of heat across a woman's upper body. Some last second, while others last minutes, making them incredibly inconvenient and uncomfortable for most women.
Symptoms of hot flashes include:
Typically, hot flashes are caused by a lack of estrogen. Low estrogen levels negatively affect a woman's hypothalamus, the part of the brain that controls body temperature and appetite. Low estrogen levels cause the hypothalamus to incorrectly assume the body is too hot, dilating blood vessels to increase blood flow. Luckily, most women don't have to settle for the uncomfortable feelings that hot flashes cause. HRT treatments for women often stabilize hormones, lessening the effects of hot flashes and menopause in general.
Mood swings are common occurrences for most people - quick shifts from happy to angry and back again, triggered by a specific event. And while many people experience mood swings, they are particularly common for women going through menopause. That's because, during menopause, the female's hormones are often imbalanced. Hormone imbalances and mood swings go hand-in-hand, resulting in frequent mood changes and even symptoms like insomnia.
The rate of production of estrogen, a hormone that fluctuates during menopause, largely determines the rate of production the hormone serotonin, which regulates mood, causing mood swings.
Luckily, HRT and anti-aging treatments in Ospey, FL for women work wonders for mood swings by regulating hormone levels like estrogen. With normal hormone levels, women around the world are now learning that they don't have to settle for mood swings during menopause.
Staying fit and healthy is hard for anyone living in modern America. However, for women with hormone imbalances during perimenopause or menopause, weight gain is even more serious. Luckily, HRT treatments for women coupled with a physician-led diet can help keep weight in check. But which hormones need to be regulated?
Lowered sexual desire - three words most men and women hate to hear. Unfortunately, for many women in perimenopausal and menopausal states, it's just a reality of life. Thankfully, today, HRT and anti-aging treatments Ospey, FL can help women maintain a normal, healthy sex drive. But what causes low libido in women, especially as they get older?
The hormones responsible for low libido in women are progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
Progesterone production decreases during perimenopause, causing low sex drive in women. Lower progesterone production can also cause chronic fatigue, weight gain, and other symptoms. On the other hand, lower estrogen levels during menopause lead to vaginal dryness and even vaginal atrophy or loss of muscle tension.
Lastly, testosterone plays a role in lowered libido. And while testosterone is often grouped as a male hormone, it contributes to important health and regulatory functionality in women. A woman's testosterone serves to heighten sexual responses and enhances orgasms. When the ovaries are unable to produce sufficient levels of testosterone, it often results in a lowered sex drive.
Often uncomfortable and even painful, vaginal dryness is a serious problem for sexually active women. However, like hair loss in males, vaginal dryness is very common - almost 50% of women suffer from it during menopause.
Getting older is just a part of life, but that doesn't mean you have to settle for the side effects. HRT and anti-aging treatments for women correct vaginal dryness by re-balancing estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. When supplemented with diet and healthy living, your vagina's secretions are normalized, causing discomfort to recede.
Uterine fibroids - they're perhaps the least-known symptom of menopause and hormone imbalances in women. That's because these growths on the uterus are often symptom-free. Unfortunately, these growths can be cancerous, presenting a danger for women as they age.
Many women will have fibroids at some point. Because they're symptomless, they're usually found during routine doctor exams. Some women only get one or two, while others may have large clusters of fibroids. Because fibroids are usually caused by hormone imbalances, hysterectomies have been used as a solution, forcing women into early menopause.
Advances in HRT and anti-aging medicine for women give females a safer, non-surgical option without having to experience menopause early. At Global Life Rejuvenation, our expert physicians will implement a customized HRT program to stabilize your hormones and reduce the risk of cancerous fibroid growth.
Endometriosis symptoms are much like the effects of PMS, and include pelvic pain, fatigue, cramping, and bloating. While doctors aren't entirely sure what causes this painful, uncomfortable condition, most agree that hormones - particularly xenoestrogens - play a factor.
Endometriosis symptoms are much like the effects of PMS and include pelvic pain, fatigue, cramping, and bloating. While doctors aren't entirely sure what causes this painful, uncomfortable condition, most agree that hormones - particularly xenoestrogens - play a factor.
Xenoestrogen is a hormone that is very similar to estrogen. Too much xenoestrogen is thought to stimulate endometrial tissue growth. HRT for women helps balance these hormones and, when used with a custom nutrition program, can provide relief for women across the U.S.
Sermorelin is a synthetic hormone peptide, like GHRH, which triggers the release of growth hormones. When used under the care of a qualified physician, Sermorelin can help you lose weight, increase your energy levels, and help you feel much younger.
Human growth hormone (HGH) therapy has been used for years to treat hormone deficiencies. Unlike HGH, which directly replaces declining human growth hormone levels, Sermorelin addresses the underlying cause of decreased HGH, stimulating the pituitary gland naturally. This approach keeps the mechanisms of growth hormone production active.
Ipamorelin helps to release growth hormones in a person's body by mimicking a peptide called ghrelin. Ghrelin is one of three hormones which work together to regulate the growth hormone levels released by the pituitary gland. Because Ipamorelin stimulates the body to produce growth hormone, your body won't stop its natural growth hormone production, which occurs with synthetic HGH.
Ipamorelin causes growth hormone secretion that resembles natural release patterns rather than being constantly elevated from HGH. Because ipamorelin stimulates the natural production of growth hormone, our patients can use this treatment long-term with fewer health risks.
One of the biggest benefits of Ipamorelin is that it provides significant short and long-term benefits in age management therapies. Ipamorelin can boost a patient's overall health, wellbeing, and outlook on life.
When there is an increased concentration of growth hormone by the pituitary gland, there are positive benefits to the body. Some benefits include:
Whether you are considering our HRT and anti-aging treatments for women in Ospey, FL, we are here to help. The first step to reclaiming your life begins by contacting Global Life Rejuvenation. Our friendly, knowledgeable HRT experts can help answer your questions and walk you through our procedures. From there, we'll figure out which treatments are right for you. Before you know it, you'll be well on your way to looking and feeling better than you have in years!973-587-8638
Rosati’s Pizza in Valrico is under new ownership, now with a fourth-generation member of the founding Rosati family at the helm. Jake Bensfield, alongside his wife, Sylvie, took the reins of this location in May 2022 and is using his years of experience with the family restaurant, his fine-dining background and the tutelage of his uncle and godfather, the late Rosati’s Pizza CEO Rick Rosati.Bensfield grew up working at Rosati’s Pizza until he decided to attend culinary school, later becoming trained as a chef at fine...
Rosati’s Pizza in Valrico is under new ownership, now with a fourth-generation member of the founding Rosati family at the helm. Jake Bensfield, alongside his wife, Sylvie, took the reins of this location in May 2022 and is using his years of experience with the family restaurant, his fine-dining background and the tutelage of his uncle and godfather, the late Rosati’s Pizza CEO Rick Rosati.
Bensfield grew up working at Rosati’s Pizza until he decided to attend culinary school, later becoming trained as a chef at fine-dining establishments, including the Michelen-starred Spiaggia and Next restaurants in Chicago. However, he decided to return to his roots and learn the business side of the industry under his uncle’s guidance.
“It’s very meaningful for me to continue my family’s legacy,” Bensfield said. “People build memories around pizza. Whether we’re talking about a family’s Friday night dinner, a couple’s date night or just a really good meal with your buddies, what people most look forward to in their week is pizza night. I find it incredibly rewarding to be there for people’s traditions, for their celebrations and milestones.”
Rosati’s Pizza was established in Chicago in 1964 and has since then grown a rich history of Italian flavor. It is nationally acclaimed for four styles of pizza: traditional thin crust, unique double dough, world-famous Chicago deep dish and authentic stuffed.
“What’s special about Rosati’s Pizza is that we source only the best ingredients,” Bensfield said. “Everything is made fresh, from scratch daily; nothing is ever frozen. I am proud to bring a piece of my family’s history to the vibrant Valrico community. My godfather used to spend his days covered in flour. His father was covered in flour, and now I’m covered in flour.”
While following the original Rosati recipes, Bensfield also seeks help Rosati’s make improvements, keep expanding the business and add his own flavor into the mix, such as occasionally offering new specials for customers to enjoy.
Rosati’s Pizza in Valrico, located at 3437 Lithia Pinecrest Rd, is open for carryout, delivery and catering. Its hours are Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Stop by daily between 11 a.m.-3 p.m. for Rosati’s ‘Jumbo Slice and a Soda’ $6.50 special. For more information, visit www.rosatispizza.com/location/valrico-fl/ or call 813-643-1003.
Florida is fantastic year-round, of course, but some cities are worth a visit in the cooler months. As the winter approaches here in Florida, two things happen: Temperatures (finally!) begin to cool off around the state, and a lot of popular destinations around the Sunshine State are quieter…until schools are out for the holidays, that is.In a state as geographically diverse as Florida, average high temperatures in the wintertime can range from the low-60s in the Panhandle to high-70s in South Florida, with lows in th...
As the winter approaches here in Florida, two things happen: Temperatures (finally!) begin to cool off around the state, and a lot of popular destinations around the Sunshine State are quieter…until schools are out for the holidays, that is.
In a state as geographically diverse as Florida, average high temperatures in the wintertime can range from the low-60s in the Panhandle to high-70s in South Florida, with lows in the low-40s and high-50s, respectively. These cooler temperatures have Floridians donning their boots and sweaters, and it’s a perfect time to visit different parts of the state with fewer crowds and more time and room to move.
Here, we take a look at a handful of Florida towns that are better in winter.
Not only does this idyllic oceanside town on Florida’s east coast—between Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach—have a few miles of uninterrupted beach, but it boasts a vibrant downtown community that extends down Atlantic Avenue and is buzzing from morning ’til night with boutiques, galleries, restaurants, cafés, bars, and even a food hall.
Enjoy the fresh air at outdoor events like Holidays in Downtown Delray November 5 through the end of the year; Country On the Ave Music Festival on November 12; Art In the Garden November 19; Delray Beach Surf Festival November 20; and Beatles On the Beach Festival December 15-18, to name a few. Check out the entire events calendar for more fun in store over the next few months.
The southernmost point of southwest Florida was spared from the wrath of Hurricane Ian for the most part, and is open and welcoming guests. The cooler temperatures at this time of year are perfect for getting out onto the water and exploring the quiet mangroves of the Ten Thousand Islands, or simply taking a walk on the beach and soaking in vitamin D.
Bird watchers will delight in a handful of local spots that are part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, including Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Tigertail Beach, Everglades National Park, Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park and Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in nearby Naples, where the Southwest Florida Birding and Wildlife Festival in held in January. About 200 species of birds have been spotted in the area, including wood storks, osprey, piping plover, roseate spoonbills, bald eagles, great blue herons, sanderlings, willets, and more—which will you add to your life list?
Cooler temps bring one of Florida’s most beloved marine mammals back to its natural springs—manatees! Manatees migrate to springs like those in Crystal River from November through March to avoid colder waters in the Gulf of Mexico, to the delight of us all! During this time of the year it’s not unusual to find hundreds of manatees huddling together in the springs, which makes them really easy to spot!
There are a few options when it comes to seeing manatees in the Manatee Capital of The World, including snorkeling, standup paddling and spotting them from the dryness of a fully accessible boardwalk at Three Sisters Springs Refuge, which is part of The Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge, the only refuge in the U.S. dedicated to the preservation and protection of a single species.
A favorite among central Floridians, this charming lakeside town is a terrific respite from the hustle and bustle of the everyday world year-round, and even more so in the wintertime. The arts-filled town is perfect for relaxing, strolling the avenue and popping into shops, galleries, restaurants and cafés as you feel inclined.
There are a host of outdoor events happening in Mount Dora over the next few months, including a Lighted Boat Parade on December 3, the Mount Dora Half Marathon and 5k the weekend of December 17, and the Mount Dora Arts Festival and Mount Dora Jane Austen Fest in February.
The oldest continuously occupied settlement of European and African-American origin in the state, and indeed the entirety of the U.S., is a terrific place to visit in the winter months. The crowds at Castillo de San Marcos National Monument and the area’s beaches should be smaller, the shops and galleries should be easier to move about, and the restaurants shouldn’t have as long of wait times as in the summertime.
Not only that, but in the wintertime the city is simply dazzling—more than 3 million lights twinkle during St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights mid-November through January; the Gullah Geechee Heritage Festival celebrating 450 years of West African influences in the community will be held on Dec. 3; and guided bird walks at Anastasia State Park and First Friday Garden Walks at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park happen monthly to get outside and enjoy the weather.
An incredibly popular destination in the summertime, and for good reason, Destin is just as lovely to visit in the winter months. Imagine having the sugar-white sand beaches to yourself for a sunrise walk; go kayaking in Blackwater River State Forest just north of I-10; or make a visit to Henderson Beach State Park and feel like you have the entire place to yourself. Cast a line in the "World’s Luckiest Fishing Village,” and you may just catch any one of three types of snapper, triggerfish, or tuna, which are all found in Destin’s waters this time of year.
Join the locals at a variety of events held in the cooler months, including a Lighted Boat Parade, the Pelican Plunge on New Year’s Day, and the Shrimp and Grits Festival in February. Oh, and the cooler temperatures and drier skies also mean spectacular stargazing—simply go outside and look up after the sun sets!
Mel Weber recently opened Southern Vines Fine Wine & Spirits, among other new ventures in the town.This appears to be a great year for the Census-designated place of Osprey. Only six square miles in area, and with less than 10,000 residents, the community is experiencing tremendous growth in hospitality and retail venues.Chef Rolf Zahnd moved his New Florida Kitchen to Osprey from Sarasota a few months back, Mel Weber opened ...
Mel Weber recently opened Southern Vines Fine Wine & Spirits, among other new ventures in the town.
This appears to be a great year for the Census-designated place of Osprey. Only six square miles in area, and with less than 10,000 residents, the community is experiencing tremendous growth in hospitality and retail venues.
Chef Rolf Zahnd moved his New Florida Kitchen to Osprey from Sarasota a few months back, Mel Weber opened Southern Vines Fine Wine & Spirits on Tamiami Trail and now the Phelan family is opening a seafood restaurant, Deep Lagoon, on Blackburn Point Road.
Statistics will tell you that Osprey harbors a fair amount of wealth and, since it controls the northern access to Casey Key, it’s not hard to imagine why. A large plaza sat mostly vacant for years at the corner of Blackburn Point Road and Tamiami Trail, before Benderson Development purchased it, brought the plaza up to modern standards and added a Publix anchor. After that, the tenants, like Southern Vines, rolled in.
Southern Vines is owned by Mel Weber. It’s a full-service store selling wine, liquor, beer and more. Weber has worked in the hospitality and retail business for many years. As with many of us, she left the cold north for the sun in Florida, but, unlike most of us, she arrived from Alaska. Her retail wine operation in Fairbanks was named Northern Vines and she reworked that name for her new project. Her vision is to create a welcoming neighborhood store with a wide selection of popular, affordable wines, plus special personal selections.
A recent celebration marked Weber’s first month in business. Her goal is to present the finest wines and spirits, as well as artisan cheeses, various charcuterie products and other deli items to create an upscale tasting.
“We want everyone to have fine wine, bread, jams and jellies, and custom baskets,” she says. While she is aware that Publix has extensive wine offerings, she says her unique selections, wine tastings and outside events can more than make up for the competition. Her extensive experience provides her with contacts at small wineries, and her focus is on highlighting these producers, as well as other niche winemakers that small Florida distributors provide.
Deep Lagoon, meanwhile, is a concept begun by the Phelan family, creators of Pinchers. The new location on Blackburn Point Road joins others in Naples and Fort Myers. The concept is to provide upscale dining with a focus on fish. Located just before the swing bridge, the location is amazing, with great views of Blackburn Bay. Wines will be priced below $12 per glass, with six-ounce pours costing $8 and nine ounces costing $10-$12.
Chef Rolf’s New Florida Kitchen, meanwhile, is now located in the Casey Key Resorts Mainland. Before leaving for Sarasota, Zahnd ran the Saltwater Cafe and produced a number of TV cooking shows. According to the restaurant’s website, the menu is extensive, as are the wine selections. Another reason to steer your way to Osprey soon.
Bob McGinn has spent his entire career in the wine industry—forming wine clubs, working in wine sales marketing and engaging in all facets of the winemaking process, including vine management, fermentation and yeast analysis. He has developed wine programs for companies such as Marriott, Sheraton and Smith & Wollensky, and consults with local restaurants. You can read more of McGinn’s work at gulfcoastwinejournal.com.
Carter Hendricksen, Jose Placer return to lead Osprey men; Emma Broermann is lone veteran senior for Osprey womenThe University of North Florida men's and women's basketball teams are at opposite ends of the experience spectrum entering the 2022-23 season.That doesn't mean they won't have the same expectations.The UNF men return their top-five scorers and seven of their top eight from last year's 11-20 team that finished strong with seven victories in their last 11 games.Senior forward ...
The University of North Florida men's and women's basketball teams are at opposite ends of the experience spectrum entering the 2022-23 season.
That doesn't mean they won't have the same expectations.
The UNF men return their top-five scorers and seven of their top eight from last year's 11-20 team that finished strong with seven victories in their last 11 games.
Senior forward Carter Hendricksen (12.2 points, 5.0 rebounds per game) is back for a fifth season, junior swing man Dorian James (4.8, 4.6) returns for a fourth year and junior guard Jose Placer (14.7, 3.1) returns for a third season with the Ospreys and a fourth in Division I basketball.
Five returning players competed in at least 30 of UNF's 31 games (guard Chaz Lanier and forward Jonathan Aybar played in all 31) and five players started 15 or more games, with James leading the team with 30 starts.
The good news is that Hendricksen is the only senior so barring transfers, the Ospreys have a solid base for at least the next two seasons.
"The cup is overflowing because we have these dudes back, they're experienced, they're healthy and they're hungry," coach Matthew Driscoll said on Tuesday at UNF's basketball media day at the Residence Inn on San Pablo Road. "When you're hungry you'll be humble. When those two things meet, you'll be able to do what you want to do."
The Osprey women's team has only one starter returning from a 13-17 team that was a massive disappointment based on preseason expectations, senior forward Emma Broermann. The only other player who was on last year's team is sophomore guard Kayla Rougier, who started one game.
However, coach Darrick Gibbs scoured the transfer portal for a combination of speed, shooting and height, and signed four true freshmen.
Among the top newcomers in the former category are sisters Lyric and Jaelyn Swann, both speedy guards and good shooters, two graduate seniors, guard Brianna Livingston (Monmouth) and forward Elysa Wesolek (South Carolina); and guard Christy Hamze (Queens).
Leading the freshman class will be Bishop Kenny graduate Maddie Millar, who finished her high school career with 422 3-pointers, second in state history and 14th all-time nationally; and Helena Rafnsdottir, who played in the Iceland national team.
"We had a lot of talent and a big bench," Broermann said of last year's team that was picked second to win the ASUN but had a 5-11 conference record, in fifth place of the six teams in the ASUN East. " It was a lot of factors. I think this is a new group, a lot of young people, very eager to learn and do whatever they can do help the team. It's a very different dynamic."
The Ospreys had what Driscoll referred to as the worst offensive team in his 14 years.
UNF was 11th among 12 teams in scoring with 68.52 points per game and a big reason was the Ospreys were not getting many second chances: they were last in rebounding margin (minus-5.68), next-to-last in offensive and defensive rebounding and 11th in turnover margin.
Toss in other forms of adversity -- a brutal opening schedule that included Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Kentucky, UCLA and Florida, and injuries to Hendricksen and Placer that cost them a combined 19 games -- and it was somewhat miraculous that UNF won five of six at one point, with Hicklen (12.0 points per game) taking on the scoring load.
The Ospreys had a 1-7 start, lost four one-possession home games and lost their first six ASUN games.
Stout efforts in road losses to Florida State and Eastern Kentucky in mid-season provided a dose of confidence (guard Jarius Hicklen had 6 of 12 3-points and scored 27 points against the Seminoles) and UNF beat Central Arkansas, lost another one-possession game to Lipscomb then started their closing stretch with road victories against Jacksonville State and North Alabama.
"We flipped the script and started winning those close games," Driscoll said.
Hendricksen said the team bought into playing tougher defense when it was clear they wouldn't have a typical offensive season. UNF led the ASUN in blocked shots with 4.84 per game (led by Jadyn Parker and Jonathan Aybar), was second in 3-point percentage defense (.319) and fourth in field-goal percentage defense (.422).
"We guarded well last year and it helped us when we weren't making shots," Hendricksen said. "The way we played defensively really kept us in games."
But it would help if the Ospreys could get more than 33.84 rebounds per game. Oddly enough, only conference champion Bellarmine had fewer.
"Rebounding has been our defensive Achilles," Driscoll said. "We've addressed it, approached it and continue to work at it and get better."
An enhanced weight room will help. But the fact remains is that while UNF has a frontcourt rotation of Aybar, Parker, Hendricksen and James that averages 6 feet 8, they also average 195 pounds.
"Some guys are the way they are," Driscoll said.
Hendricksen said there's no secret.
"We have to get more physical," he said. "The key to rebounding is going to get the ball. We have to go get it."
UNF's usual rugged non-conference schedule starts with a road trip to open the season on Nov. 7 at Gonzaga, followed four days later by a game at Washington.
Also on the schedule are Kentucky, Houston and Pittsburg. UNF opens its home schedule on Nov. 19 against South Carolina State.
The Ospreys had future WNBA draftee Jazz Bond among four returning starters from 2020-21, had a handful of other experience players and Bond's sister, Jaida, transferred from North Alabama where she also had made the All-ASUN team.
But UNF lost its first four conference games and never regained its footing. Guards Marissa Mackins and Tiffany Tolbert left the program before the conference season began and Bond couldn't do everything by herself.
Gibbs hinted that some players believed the preseason hype.
"I think we took our eye off the most important part, our process," he said. "We got caught up in what would have been versus what we were doing in the moment, what it's going to take today ... not tomorrow, not two days from now."
Broermann senses that the young players and transfers have bought in.
"They're all willing to play whatever role they need," she said. "Playing five minutes, playing 20 minutes, having the energy on the bench, willing to do whatever they can to make the best of what opportunity they've been given."
Rougier said she's seeing good signs.
"The summer helped," she said of the team's off-season program. "Our personalities are gelling well together, on and off the court."
Gibbs likes what he sees in practice in nearly all aspects of the game, especially on the perimeter.
"Our guards are bigger, which allows us more flexibility," he said. "Our perimeter game is better. How does that translate into production during games?"
UNF will open at home for the first time in Gibbs' eight seasons in Jacksonville. They play Warner on Nov. 7 and are home again on Nov. 10 against the College of Charleston.
The two early home games will go a long way towards a young team building confidence.
"We should have a good chance to get out of the gates and play well," he said.
The schedule then gets interesting. UNF plays at Wisconsin on Nov. 13, and flies to Dublin, Ireland to play against Rider and Marist.
Other non-conference road games are against Miami, Alabama and Auburn.
Contact Garry Smits at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @GSmitter
Popular Stories From a stinging horde of wasps to the dramatic nighttime ambushes by Great Horned Owls, those familiar with Hog Island’s Explore.org...
From a stinging horde of wasps to the dramatic nighttime ambushes by Great Horned Owls, those familiar with Hog Island’s Explore.org live cameras have followed along closely with the tumultuous nesting seasons of on-cam Ospreys Steve and Rachel. But with a new nest and a relatively new Osprey couple, the tides have turned and three Osprey chicks have successfully fledged this past summer for the first time ever at the new site.
Why the turn of events? Thanks to the hard work of Hog Island campers during their annual service week, Hog Island introduced an additional nesting spot atop the Boat House deck on the mainland, directly across the narrow channel and about a quarter of a mile away from the original Osprey nest on Hog Island. The Osprey cam structure was built at the Birds of Maine Islands: A Service Week session in September of 2015 under the leadership of Audubon facilities manager Eric Snyder. The camera was installed the following season in 2016.
Each year, Hog Island offers chances like this for campers to get involved on the islands and mainland to support bird conservation—whether that be for their resident terns, Tree Swallows, or, in this case, Ospreys. Grounded in improving bird habitat, the week aims to inspire bird lovers to take action.
“It's a way for people to get hands-on with bird conservation and give back to birds in a very tangible way. The work supports our research program, the Seabird Institute, and [the campers] also learn new skills, meet new friends, and get energized about conservation. It's a fun week,” said Eva Lark, Audubon’s senior manager of public programs for Hog Island.
The strategy behind this specific service project was simple: More Osprey couples are better than one when protecting their chicks.
“The hope was that by putting a nest on the mainland, the Ospreys could help each other,” said Lark. Since Ospreys don’t require large territories, they’re more than happy to live close to each other and help jointly defend that space against predators, like Bald Eagles or owls.
Success at this new nesting spot wasn’t immediate. Though the new nest was immediately occupied by a young Osprey couple the summer after it was installed, they unsuccessfully mated on the nest for two years before abandoning it. Then in 2021, Dory and Skiff—the on-camera Osprey pair—settled on the nest and had a season without producing any viable eggs. However, this isn’t very surprising to the researchers at Hog Island.
Very often, when Ospreys first mate as a brand new pair, they need a couple seasons to adjust to each other, take care of the eggs themselves, and adapt to their surroundings—especially in a territory with a heavy human presence. The fact that the pair was able to produce eggs at all was a good indication that they were working out, with the ultimate positive outcome of raising three healthy fledglings—named Schooner, Skipjack, and Sloop—being achieved this past summer in 2022.
For Lark and other Seabird Institute researchers and staff, the best part of this happy occurrence after years of bad luck was being able to share in this turnaround with people from around the world. The Explore.org cameras provide an intimate glimpse into the lives of birds that we would not be privy to otherwise.
Speaking on its accessibility, Lark has seen how the cameras can level the playing field. Not everyone can visit Hog Island, but for those with an internet connection, they can “tune in and feel like [they’re] there...and learn from the comfort of [their] home.”
Even beyond their ability to bring people together, the cameras also act as a unique tool for research. “They are an amazing tool for education because we can take clips and study them,” said Lark. “You're seeing what types of food they're eating, how they're behaving with each other. When you're on the ground, you don't see that. You don't see the housekeeping; you don't see how they're behaving with the chicks. From a research perspective, it’s groundbreaking.”
At this point the cameras are dormant, with each member of the fish hawk family having finally left the nest—Dory first, followed by Skiff and eventually, the three juveniles—to embark on their annual migration down south. Though we likely won’t get to see Schooner, Skipjack, or Sloop on the cameras again next year, many viewers will be waiting for Dory and Skiff to return to begin the cycle again.
“I think [the cameras are] going to keep advancing science and hopefully it's going to keep inspiring people to pay attention to the birds in their own neighborhood,” said Lark. “It's going to inspire them to go outside and look up.”