Our Study Area
Osprey Watching in the Kawarthas
Come fly with the author as he goes Osprey nest watching. Just a 15 minutes drive north of the city of Lindsay my first stop is a Hydro pole – Glenarm Rd. 100 metres north and west side of Hwy 35. this is a new nest and has been active for two years. Cameron Lake is close by and so is the town of Fenelon Falls.
We now head north on Hwy 35 for two miles to Rosedale Marina. there are two nests side by side on Hydro poles. both were unoccupied while one was active in 2008.
Next stop is Fenelon Falls – Baseball park – north outskirts. Active for the past five years. The nest is situated on top of a night light Hydro pole. Cameron Lake is close by.
Ten minutes east we arrive at Bobcaygeon. The nest is active and located atop a Hydro pole at the locks. Sturgeon Lake access.
Five minutes south of Bobcaygeon on Road 24 at the bridge awaiting repairs a nest is active atop a Hydro pole and has been for the past five years. While obseving the nest, we see the parents feeding 2 chicks. This nest overlooks Sturgeon Lake.
Less than a kilometer south on Road 24, a storm in May 2009 disintegrated the nest in the treetop which had been active. The Osprey returned and within two weeks rebuilt the nest but then abandoned it. As of July, there has been no activity.
Two kilometers south of Road 24 is Birch Point Marina located on Sturgeon Lake. Friends of the Osprey built a beautiful structure in 2007. It has been empty since. Less than 50 metres away atop a Hydro pole, is an active nest and has been for the past five years.
Heading south on Road 24 for 300 meters on the east side of the road. This nest was built by the Friends of the Osprey, but was toppled by a severe storm and rebuilt entirely. A goose occupied this structure for three weeks in April 2009. In May, a couple of Osprey were very active, but as of July 2009 it appears to be abandoned. On the opposite west side of the road are two man-made structures. Both are Osprey active as of July 2009.
Five minutes away, we find ourselves at Hwy 36 and Emily Creek. This Friends of the Osprey nest required repairs. in 2007 due to a severe storm. It was not occupied in 2008. It is a perfect location for a structure and the Osprey think so. This nest has been very active this spring and summer.
These vacancies and sightings are representative of this area, having monitored same for the past five years. The same figures can also be applied to the rest of Ontario. Overall, 75% occupancy can be regarded as a healthy picture. Ontario can boast the most successful grown in Canada thanks to the efforts of all of the Friends of the Osprey groups in Ontario.
It is unknown at this time the preference of nest sights by the Osprey. many years ago, the majority of nesting was in the treetops. Then along came progress in the form of DDT that was not only disastrous for the Osprey, but for hundreds of other wildlife and species. The Osprey were placed on the endangered list. Common sense prevailed and the chemical DDT was banned.
Over the following years, in making their slow comeback, the Osprey were utilizing Hydro poles and TV towers for nesting purposes. At this time, concerned persons decided to take it one step further. Thus a decision was made to build nests conveniently right in the immediate lake and river waters. To date, hundreds of these nests have been built with a 75% occupancy success rate.
Friends of the Osprey build and make necessary repairs in January and February where access to the sites is available. The nests are vacated in August and September when the Osprey migrate south only to return in March and April the following year.