Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ospreys on the Westport River

reduc ospreywest1
Nest Map
 I was allowed to accompany Becky Cushing, staff member at Allens Pond Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary and the Osprey Project Manager, as she went to check on the Osprey on the Westport River. Becky has been in charge of this project the last five years and I am sorry to say is leaving to further her education at the University of Vermont.
The project consists of monitoring the Osprey nests in the Westport River and Allen Pond Sanctuary area by keeping track of how many nesting pairs there are, number of eggs laid, number of eggs hatched and number of chicks that fledge. It also involved banding the new Osprey and selecting a couple to place GPS tracking monitor on. This year's birds were tracked down through the Caribbean to Venezuela them back through Cuba until they returned to Westport.
b MSB_8891 NIKON D300S July 05, 2011Because of the tides, we left about 11:30 AM to visit the nests and because the motor was sounding funny we only visit a few of the nests. On approaching a nest, the adults would take off and fly overhead yelling at us. b Osprey flightMSB_8730 NIKON D300S July 05, 2011We come in close to the nest, take the ladder and put it up and then Becky would go in and examine the nest. b MSB_8572 NIKON D300S July 05, 2011b MSB_8580 NIKON D300S July 05, 2011After examining the nest the data was immediately entered onto the sheet so that be Kept.
I wish I could say that we found live chicks and alb MSB_8520 NIKON D300S July 05, 2011l of the nests, however, that is not the way that occurs in the natural world. They were empty nests and there was a nest with a dead chick and a nonviable egg.b MSB_8524 NIKON D300S July 05, 2011
however we did find some nice healthy in ks and some of the nests b MSB_8647 NIKON D300S July 05, 2011b MSB_8652 NIKON D300S July 05, 2011b MSB_8658 NIKON D300S July 05, 2011b MSB_8659 NIKON D300S July 05, 2011
There was also a dead duck floating in the water. b MSB_8878 NIKON D300S July 05, 2011
b MSB_8756 NIKON D300S July 05, 2011
Great Egret
b MSB_8889 NIKON D300S July 05, 2011
him A number of great egrets were feeding in the river and a Willet.
The toughest part I had in this trip was getting decent pictures because of the time of day and the absolutely brilliant sunlight. I try to photograph the birds in the air when the sun was a little behind me. b MSB_8632 NIKON D300S July 05, 2011b Osprey hover 2MSB_8886 NIKON D300S July 05, 2011b Osprey Hover hr MSB_8612-2-Edit-Edit NIKON D300S July 05, 2011
I want to thank Becky for all her kindness and to wish whoever takes her place continued success in this most wonderful project. You can follow the project at The project and Allens pond sanctuary are always looking for volunteers on donations to help continue their work.