On Tuesday, I was honored to join Anna Salinas and Peter Deichmann, the Osprey monitors of Allens Pond Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary, as they went to count and band Osprey on the East branch of the Westport River.
First a little history, the Osprey program was started by Gil and Jo Fernandez, who in the course of 40 years installed nearly 100 breeding platforms in the Westport River and Allens Pond. Since 2002, the Westport River Watershed Alliance and Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary have been monitoring the breeding activities of the Osprey.
The three of us went in a small motor boat, which included an extension ladder and a old oar.
Extension ladder would be used to climb up to the nests and the old oar was used as a protection against certain Osprey, who were very aggressive in dive bombing the monitors. The oar held straight up in the air so the the Osprey would just swerve away, it was not utilize to hit the Osprey.
Most of the Osprey adults would just leave the nest and circle around overhead.
We motored over to the East branch of the Westport River.. The Westport River is made up of 2 separate branches the East and West branch, and there are Osprey nest on, both of the branches.
We checked 11 nests and the team banded 10 birds on 5 platforms. Some of the nests were abandoned.
|Preparing the bands|
|Osprey chick giving the "look" after being banded|
I climbed up the latter to look at one of the nest and photographed two young chick still in down . There also was an unhatched egg in the nest.
This project needs support of volunteers and sponsorship of the platforms. You can sponsor a platform by going to http://westportosprey.org/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=5&category_id=2&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=19&vmcchk=1&Itemid=19 or by contacting the sanctuary at 508-636-2437
As an aside: Allens Pond is holding their 9th Annual Duck Derby August 17 and 18th and the Grand Prize Is Dinner for 2 Anywhere in the World (including transportation and 2-night stay). The costs of a duck is $10 and you can adopt your ducks online