Greetings from Essex, command central for Greenbelt's Osprey Program. We are off and running with another Osprey nesting season. Reports from monitors have been coming in for a couple of weeks and birds are on nests from East Boston to Salisbury. However, there are still many unoccupied nests and the general consensus as I talk to others around MA is that osprey are "running late" this year.
Since the last bird departed the area last fall, we have not been idle. We installed two new Osprey platfroms in Gloucester in October 2015 - one a replacement of the one (GLO-01) that collapsed out of a tree it was built into, and a second (GLO-05) in a new location. This spring we installed a new hybrid platform (NPT-05) in Newburyport - hybrid because it is supported by four posts, not one, and is just five feet off the salt marsh. This was done at the landowners request to replicate an old duck blind once used by Osprey at this location. Tomorrow, weather permitting, we are going to be installing two new platforms in Rowley salt marshes and then on Earth Day, April 22, we will be installing the final new platform of the spring in Saugus on land owned by Wheelabrator, the incinerator company. All these new nest sites plus the old ones will be or are visible on the map at this link:
The webcam has been operational for a few weeks now at the Cox Reservation in Essex. On Saturday April 2 we had a male Osprey (we assume not Allyn who we believe perished last year) on the nest, carrying in nesting materials. But no sight of him again since then, or Ethel. It's still early and I am confident Ethel will return. Last year she showed up on April 6, so we are not too far off that date.
Flow remains in central Cuba but we expect him and his solar power satellite transmitter to start migrating north in April. Flow is now about 22 months old and spent the past 19 months or so in Cuba, living on a large lake and taking no flights outside that massive watershed. Obviously he found plenty of fish there to survive. Now we keep our fingers crossed that he navigates his way north successfully and finds a suitable breeding area somewhere not too far from his natal site in Essex. As of today, he has not started to migrate north. Check his status at this link:
Finally, we sent out our annual Osprey appeal letter to the many supporters of the program last week. Our goal is to once again raise $10,000.00 to support the management, monitoring, research and eduction that is the foundation of Greenbelt's Osprey Program. You can always contribute on Greenbelt's website by clicking the "Donate Now" tab on any of the Osprey pages on the Greenbelt website.