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Thread subject: Connetquot Park Osprey
Name Date Message
Tom I 07/22/05 07:29 am I was speaking with Gil Bergen who manages Connetquot park about their opsrey nests and he said the large one near the hatchery in the field was abandoned this year. One theory he had was that opsrey may occasionally leave a nest, possibly due to the nest containing lice or other such bird pests that drive the birds away - has this ever been written about in the literature? The other theory was loss of the birds due to the storms last year during migration. Gil mentioned the park was down a few nesting pairs this year : (
karen 07/22/05 09:02 am the nests are left alone after the Osprey migrate but the winter does take a toll on them and the nest is rebuilt/restored in the spring by the returning osprey ... stay tuned next spring to watch!
Celeste 07/22/05 09:03 am Thank you Tom, since this is the first year I have experienced Connetquot, I was wondering if they were "down" in population. Yet, around the fish hatchery one can see quite a few osprey flying above. We had an active hurricane season last year, and I guess that contributed to the decline in population....Hopefully, juveniles will be returning next season.

As far as platform nests, the osprey themselves rebuild and add each year. In fact this year at the Blackwater Refuge, there was a pair of osprey who abandoned the nest after being there a bit, their platform was quite bare, within days the new nesting pair built up their nest. Natural tree nests if they "survive" winter storms are also added to each year by the osprey themselves.
Melanie 07/22/05 10:05 am I suspect on of the big reasons the Blackwater nest platform was right down the the bare wire base was two-fold. First, that nest is there's a whole lot of corn stalks in that nest, so there's no branching that will help things interlock. The other is Blackwater is pretty flat, open and unsheltered, and we had some pretty fierce winter storms here on the Bay last winter.

If the nest is a "hardwood" nest, it should survive winter storms. We had two nests on my creek on Chesapeake Bay that were in channel markers and survived the NE quadrant of a hurricane. Encroaching on the solar panels that powered the light for night navigation, however, was another matter. To give you some idea of how big the DPOF nest is, it is nearly 6' tall and probably 5' in diameter and roughly 20 years old, give or take a few years.
Celeste 07/22/05 12:37 pm I should clarify that the osprey left their "usual" nest for a newer platform nest nearby, which this morning I read on the site by Lisa the Webmaster, that the osprey pair that moved from one nest to the newer one, didn't have any chicks this year and perhaps it was this change of nests that threw them "off". The osprey that took over the original nest, (left by the usual osprey pair), built there nest practically from nothing very quickly, (on the platform nest with the cam) and as we know have a successful nest with chicks that will fledge any time now. And yes, I have seen this nest at Blackwater, and it is located in an open unsheltered area as Melanie indicates.
Matt 07/22/05 04:05 pm Thats the one by the bathrooms at the hatchery, right Tom?
Tom I 07/22/05 08:50 pm Yes, by the bathhouse. Lots of osprey activity there by the hatchery - and why not with the free lunch (hatchery fish), but I was very suprised that nest wasn't occupied this year.

I had the oppurtunity to fly over some of the Great South Bay marshes today, and was suprised to see so many osprey poles without active nests - Tho I did see many nests with birds as well.
FOB Webmaster 07/22/05 09:28 pm If it's any help, I've read that bald eagles will do that -- build two nests and let one "air out" while using the other.

The book that reported it (which I can't remember the name of) said that use of the back-up nest was usually due to insect pests that had taken over the other nest. Since eagles just add to their nest each year, the insects can get rather problematic over time.

Our cam technician at Blackwater said that on the Eagle Cam monitor he could see spiders and other bugs crawling all over the tree and nest. He said it was hard to see on the website but was very visible on the TV monitor at the Refuge.

Copyright © 2006 DPOF

Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 18, 2006