06880

Bye Bye, Ospreys

Alert — and very environmentally conscious — “06880” reader Wendy Crowther writes:

At 6:45 Wednesday morning, as I drove to work, I noticed that the giant osprey nest that had been perched on top of the utility pole at Fresh Market was gone.  It had been there very recently.

I want to reassure everyone who, like me, enjoyed watching this nest all summer that everything is okay. The osprey family (mom, dad and their matured hatchling) flew the coop a few weeks ago. Since mid-August the family was spending less time in the nest – often perching high up in a large, dead tree behind Fresh Market that was more spacious than their nest had become as the young one grew.

I haven’t seen any of the ospreys in their nest for a month, although I would still see (and hear) them flying overhead above Winslow Park (near my home). I don’t know whether ospreys migrate or roost elsewhere once their young ones mature. Maybe someone out there in the “06880” world knows.

I want to thank the utility companies and Fresh Market property owners for being sensitive to the presence of these birds all summer long, and for allowing nature to take its course.

The osprey nest near the Fresh Market parking lot, earlier this summer.

I loved driving by this nest every day. It was fun to see the young chick grow to adulthood. It was fascinating to watch the parents soar in with fish in their talons, or observe the fledgling patiently waiting for its parents to return. The young one would screech when it saw a parent in the distance, and fluttered its wings when mom or dad dove from on high and came in for landings.

The nest provided a unique opportunity to observe wildlife close up, while allowing the birds to remain totally wild. My heart felt a bit of a pang when I saw the empty utility pole. But the birds had moved on, as do we all.

I couldn’t imagine why such a magnificent creature would choose the top of a Post Road utility pole for its nesting site. It was a fascinating  juxtaposition. But I, for one, thank them for providing me with amusement and a lesson in nature.  I hope they’ll return next year, although I’m sure Fresh Market and the utility companies feel otherwise.

(NOTE: Connecticut Light & Power workers relocated the nest to a higher utility pole — one with fewer wires 150 feet away — earlier this week, after the birds flew south for the winter. The hope is that the ospreys return to the relocated nest in the spring.)

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