An Osprey nest atop a silo in Shoreham

An Osprey nest atop a silo in Shoreham

Man made structures have played a very important role in the recovery of Osprey in North American the most common of which are purpose-built platforms designed specifically for their use. But other human constructs have been used by them as well, including power poles, bridges, buildings, and like shown in the picture above, grain silos. This is the first time I have heard of a silo being used, but a quick Google search shows it is not an unprecedented behavior.  This one is located on a farm in Shoreham overlooking Richville Pond Wildlife Management Area, an impounded section of the Lemon Fair River. This site gives these Osprey a very convenient fishing site, and though I’m not sure they appreciate it, an excellent view.

The second story if of a more conventional nesting site on a man-made platform downstream from the Pulp Mill Bridge in Weybridge. Local resident Wilfred Bilodeau talked CVPS into putting up that platform as a public service some 10-15 years ago, but unfortunately Wilfred passed away without ever seeing it occupied. It wasn’t until the spring of 2012 that a pair of Osprey attempted to move in, but the deck of the platform had since rotted away leaving them with only enough support to build a lopsided and unsteady nest that was soon abandoned. This spring, what I presume is the same pair tried again, building upon the previous efforts to create a very solid nest this time around. This nest can be safely viewed from the canoe portage on Morgan Horse Farm Rd. one tenth of a mile north of the bridge.

I am happy to report that both nests have be successful so far with chicks being sighted in both of them. Pictures of chicks at the Weybridge site can be seen below.

– Ron Payne