Another season is passing. The author convinced himself that last year 2016, although it was a banner year for activity for monitoring the osprey nest, almost all nests were occupied and each was telling a different story with each visit. For 2017 I would have to double up my individual visits to gain a better picture of happenings. As spring turned to summer my itinerary was proving fruitful as there were many surprises and successes along with a few disappointments and failures.
Let’s start with the latter which involves the bald eagle. The nest in question is located at Scotch Line Rd. and Rd. 24 north side overlooking Sturgeon Lake. In April the eagles evicted the osprey and took over the nest which is 5-6 storeys high in a tree. It is strange how word gets around. Shortly after, there appeared a gathering of photographers with their 3-4 foot long cameras. They would stay for hours focusing on the female sitting on an egg or eggs while the male perched as lookout on the branch above. This went on for about 2 weeks until mother nature intervened with one of her horrific storms which half destroyed the nest and assumably damaged the egg. We have information from our Simon Connell that the eagles would not attempt to repair or try nesting again until the following season biologically speaking. Upon returning a few days later I observed the nest to be completely repaired and the Lords of the sky had returned. A pair of osprey communicating with each other with that beautiful sound were back! They remained active for the rest of the summer. I never saw the eagles or photographers again. It is assumed that they were not interested in our osprey. Too bad – their loss.
This is another disappointing tree nest story. Located on Road 24 overlooking Sturgeon Lake across from the park this nest has been active for over 10 years. Again another storm blew half of the nest and eggs or chicks to the ground. It was sad to see one of the osprey sitting a few feet away just staring at the damage. A few days later the rest of the nest fell to the ground. I have not seen the osprey since and that was June.
Another disappointment takes us to Cameron-Southview Estates where Mrs. Bird has a beautiful home overlooking a narrow lagoon and an osprey nest which was deteriorating badly above the water. Simon Connell and crew decided to build an above ground platform a short distant from the old nest. It truly is a work of art. Spring came but no sign of the osprey. Upon investigating the area, the author found 100 metres away a pair of very active osprey building a nest atop a hydro pole. They remained active the rest of the summer.
Another success story takes us to Kenstone Rd. which runs north and south from Hwy. 36 to Road 24 in, of all places, a farmer’s field atop a hydro pole. The good hydro people replaced the nest and old hydro pole with a new taller pole for safety reasons. The osprey returned and remained active the rest of the summer even with 4 wild turkeys feeding at the foot of the pole.
On the surprise side we go to Hwy 26 Emily Creek bridge just south of Bobcageon. The nest is on the water and has to be degoosed in the off season because the geese arrive 2-3 weeks before the osprey and will take over the nest. We destroy the nest leaving only the platform. This pair of osprey year after year seem to be the first to arrive and amazingly built a complete nest in less than 5 days. The female must have laid 2 eggs because 2 chicks were hatched. I watched them grow over the summer and one day I witnessed all four in the very crowded quarters. In July all four vacated their home and as of September I never saw them again. This truly is a success story. This nest will have to be degoosed again.
Seriously, as FOTO is limited in person power, all nests are not being surveyed effectively and adequately as monitoring becomes an educated guess while some of us aren’t getting any younger.
The following sites have been viewed by Simon and myself while many others have never been investigated at all in the CKL:
- The Glen – occupied – 1 chick
- Emily Park – occupied
- Pigeon Trailer Park – occupied – 1 chick in nest
- Bobcaygeon Community Pool – no activity
- Bobcaygeon Locks – active
- Bobcaygeon New Bridge – active
- Nest in tree, south of new bridge – active
- Birch Point Marina – active
- Leaning tower, Rd 24 – 1 chick
- Rd. 24 opposite leaning tower – active – 1 adult
- Lindsay Airport – active
- Glenarm & Hwy 35, new hydro pole – active
- Fenelon Falls, baseball field – active
- Fenelon Falls, opposite medical centre – active This nest wasdestroyed by storm in 2016
- Elm Tree & Fishack Rd – active
- Rosedale Bridge Hwy 35 – active
- Coboconk & Hwy 35 south – active
- Coboconk, baseball field – active
While watching an episode of Animal World Sept. 4th, 2017 the bald eagle was featured in B.C. It was referred to as “Emperor of the Sky”. Included in their diet are the young heron. Our Lord of the sky, the osprey, may battle the heron, but they do not devour them. I’ve witnessed this myself.
In conclusion it is my belief that overall 2017 was a productive and encouraging year for our feathered friends. Until spring of 2018 you are invited to be the wind beneath our wings.
PS: When is the last time you saw and how many? Bugs on your windshield, swallows, frogs, turtles, bees monarch butterfly.
Director Nest Monitoring