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Thread subject: Osprey Nest in Kayak!
Name Date Message
cathy 11/11/04 05:11 pm This is from a list-serv I subscribe to. Its interesting because this pair apparently lives in Florida year-round, and how persistent ospreys are in their nesting places, even when their nest blows down in a hurricane. Unfortunately, it says all osprey nests were blown down in Hurricane Charley.

Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 07:18:48 -0800 (PST)
From: Devorah Bennu
Subject: [Tweeters] Fwd:Homeless osprey get their kayak back
Message-ID: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

Hello Tweets,

this story link includes a very cute picture of the
nesting osprey that you have got to see!


Homeless osprey get their kayak back


While Hurricane Charley spared most homes in
Englewood, it wasn't as kind to one of Englewood's
most recognizable dwellings.

For six years, a pair of osprey made their home in a
14-foot kayak high up on a pole on the east side of
the bridge over Coral Creek between the fishery and
Gasparilla Marina.

Marian Schneider, owner of Grande Tours, had put the
kayak up as an eye-catching sign for her business just
before Hurricane Andrew blew it down in 1992.

After she got the kayak back up, members of the
Department of Environmental Protection asked her to
take it down.

That's when she noticed the pair of osprey nesting
there. "The DEP said don't touch it," Schneider said.

Grande Tours moved, but the sign didn't. Osprey mate
for life, and Schneider said most of the birds
migrate, but the kayak osprey have lived there
year-round, producing about two chicks a year.

"You can see their little heads from the bridge," said
Schneider, who calls the birds "the bookends."

When Charley came through, the kayak was blown off its
perch along with all the other osprey nests in the

"They were sitting there kind of forlorn, looking for
it," said Ed Engel, an instructor at Grande Tours.

Engel and another instructor, Joe Mullen, found the
kayak floating in the bay. It was in good condition.
They rescued the boat, but it stayed on the ground
during the active hurricane season.

The osprey pair kept coming back from nearby posts to
look for their nest, and people kept looking for the
birds. Schneider said the birds have long been a
popular landmark and photo opportunity. "Everybody
noticed them," she said.

With nesting season approaching and hurricane season
waning, Bill Gregor, manager and CEO of Gasparilla
Marina, volunteered to use his barge to haul the kayak
back to its perch. He did so with help from Engel and

"We had it up by about five o'clock, and the birds
were back in by six," Engel said.

Plenty of people have told Schneider how happy they
are to see the pair back, and she said they usually
ask her how they got the kayak back up on the piling.

"I tell them high tide."

Celeste 11/11/04 06:58 pm Cathy, I love it! The photo of that kayak with the osprey in it gave me a big smile. Thanks!
Celeste 11/11/04 07:25 pm After reading about the above osprey in Florida from Cathy, I decided to do a yahoo search about osprey nests in Florida.........I came across the following that was written about osprey in the 1800's. The question was whether or not osprey mate for life......and the following story was told about a particular observer.....
Courtship: I believe that ospreys are mated for life, as is the case with many other large birds. Dr. Harry C. Oberholser (1897) tells the following pathetic story, illustrating the constancy of a bereaved mate:

At a time when one of the birds, presumably the female, was on the nest, a bolt of lightning struck the tree, killing the bird and demolishing the nest. Strangely enough, the other osprey when returning only to find his home desolated, took up his station upon the top of one of the uninjured trees close at hand, and throughout the remainder of the summer was seen day after day, month after month, keeping his lonely vigil, apparently mourning the loss of his mate. PIe remained until late in September, but at the time that the other ospreys departed he too disappeared. The next spring, however, found him again at his post, and throughout the whole summer he continued just as before; but in the ensuing autumn, joining the company of his fellow ospreys in their journey to time southland, he departed, this time to return no more.

But such constancy is not the invariable rule. I have known of several cases where one of a pair has been shot and the survivor has secured a new mate. I also knew of a case where both of a pair were shot and a new pair appropriated the nest.

The following is a short movie clip of an osprey diving and catching a fish. For those of you who have never seen this "live", you'll be amazed at the splash the osprey makes!


I wanted to learn more about osprey who do not is one little piece....

Ospreys can be migratory or sedentary (non-migratory). Non-migratory populations breed and winter in the same location. Migratory osprey populations generally breed north of the non-migratory populations and winter south of them, with very little overlap between the two groups. The geographic division between migratory and non-migratory populations is roughly 30 degrees N latitude in North America and 38 to 40 degrees N latitude in Europe. (Fernandez and Fernandez, 1977; Poole, 1989; Poole, 1994)

Some ospreys migrate seasonally, but not all. Non-migratory populations breed and winter in the same location, though they may wander several hours from their nest during the non-breeding season. These populations begin breeding between December and March. Migratory populations generally breed where winters are cold enough to drive fish into deep water where they are inaccessible. These populations begin breeding in April or May. (Poole, 1989

There is a lot more to learn out there!!!!
cathy 11/11/04 10:36 pm That was a great video. (it took a little modification of the URL to see it

) It seems the osprey caught a fish since it labored out of the water.
karen 11/12/04 11:29 am Thanks to both of you for great stories and info!
Marie 11/14/04 12:18 am Thank you Cathy and Celeste for some very interesting reading upon my return from my 48 hr ESCAPE up Island.

Copyright © 2004 DPOF

Tom Throwe
Last modified: Fri Dec 31 23:49:43 EST 2004