Welcome to the Ravoir Observatory !
The Étang du Ravoir is not only one of the many small lakes in Orléans Forest, it is also a prime site for observing and photographing ospreys, thanks to the Ravoir Observatory, where all nature lovers can marvel at the close contact with these elegant birds of prey !
After having abandoned the area for half a century, ospreys finally returned to nest in the Centre-Val de Loire region in the 1980s. And much to the pleasure of bird and nature lovers alike, their number have constantly increased. The Étang du Ravoir site, in Ouzouer-sur-Loire, remains the only French location where you can observe and photograph nesting osprey couples without disturbing them.
Here, everything is designed so you can learn more about these birds, thanks in particular to explanatory information panels. And if your holiday agenda allows you to stay a little longer, you may also be lucky enough to see other species such as booted eagles, European honey buzzards or hen harriers… other rare birds that nest by ponds and lakes. And here, you can see them without them seeing – or even hearing – you.
So wait no longer, grab your binoculars and see for yourself! Of course, once you are inside the observatory, silence and patience are of the essence. For let’s not forget, this is osprey territory… a place we are only allowed to enter to indulge in this unique and very special privilege, as we leave them to go about their business.
Find out more about osprey
Of course, feel free to pay a visit to the nearby ‘Maison forestière’ (forester’s lodge) at the Carrefour de la Résistance, in Ouzouer-sur-Loire. From May to late August (3 to 7pm on Sundays), the forester’s lodge can lend you binoculars or special glasses to observe the ospreys on site. And you’ll need them, for the lodge is on the opposite bank, around 300 metres from the nests, which are difficult to spot with the naked eye. Tours focusing on the ospreys’ living habits are also organised, together with live film projections of the nest!
And it’s all open to all, and free of charge!
The Objectif Balbuz@ard project was initiated by the ONF (Forestry Commission), Loiret Nature Environnement, RTE (Electricity Transmission Network) and the Orléans City Council. Its aim is to increase awareness on ospreys thanks to new live video transmission technologies: cameras powered by solar panels.
The ONF and Loiret Nature Environnement organise other group activities on the theme of the forest, ecology and ospreys. Located on the northwest bank of the Étang du Ravoir, the observatory can be reached via the D952 trunk road, by following the osprey signposts.
The observatory is located northwest of the lake and is accessible via the D952 road, from the ‘route forestière du Ravoir’
Open to the public free of charge.
Car park 500 metres from the site.
You may only take photographs from the observatory.
Our 4-legged friends are also welcome if kept on a leash.