| Aug 17, 2006

Feature Article - August 17, 2006

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Feature Article - August 17, 2006

The Great Osprey

byDon Antoine

The Osprey, soaring, floating high above the lake is part of the beauty of the lake. Back in the Depression Years the giant Elm trees were over 100 feet high. Each Elm had an Osprey nest. These trees gave way to the Dutch Elm disease. In recent years we had six nests perched in the tall tines in the East Basin of Sharbot Lake .Due to the increase of cottage life and boating activity, they are gone. I have not seen an Osprey over the lake this summer.

The above picture taken by Meghan Balogh is a nest fairly isolated on Bob’s Lake Road ; there is also a nest on the west side of Twin Lake viewed from K&P rail bed.


On their long seasonal trips north and south, the Osprey take advantage of the updrafts, rising in the air, soaring slowly to great heights, then drifting along for miles. They also have a problem like some humans that is getting the young out of the nest. I watched this once from Wellingtons Island ; the young bird was in a nest on Caruso’s Island , the parent bird sat in another tree about 12 feet away, with a small muskrat in its claws. The message seemed to be “come and get it”. The following day the nest was empty.

There was a tall dead Elm with a nest, just off the Trans Canada Trail past McLean Lake , which was well known to many bird watchers from out of the area, as well as locals. Bob Hollywood and his hunting party noticed the tree and nest had fallen. In the spring the Osprey would return as usual, so they got an old hydro pole, welded a wagon wheel on the top and wove sticks and limbs into the wheel. They anchored the pole in a metal culvert and filled it with stones to hold the structure up. Ropes and manpower of the hunting party put the pole in place.

The next spring, Bob, with his pole spurs was securing the wagon wheel. The Osprey just above him was busy building the new nest. These birds are highly protective of their nests, and suspicious of anything in their immediate area, yet here we have man and bird. I cannot explain this, but will give a line from old forgotten poem: “To feel there is a union ‘twixt Nature’s heart and mine”

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