Where Ospreys Rule

Oct 1, 2014 by Steve Franklin

Ospreys are Rocky Point’s prestigious and protected raptor that rules the skies over our shorelines. There are no Bald or Golden eagles here and the Ospreys have control over any of the hawk, falcon and owl species. Where they lose in a battle is with ‘us’. Mankind is the osprey’s number one enemy. People in our streets have beat down their nests built on top of power line poles for decades. The nests sometimes interfere with the power equipment and can cause outages. In other cases, people are not happy with the ospreys that live above them, as they tend to be messy birds while they are raising their chicks.
Another battle ospreys deal with is picking up discarded fishing line or bailing string. This litter that man could control better, is attractive to ospreys when they build a nest. It helps hold together the twigs that assist in sustaining the occasional wind storms. The problem is; the ospreys become entangled in the fishing line and string and die a horrible death hanging from their home perch.
Through conservation efforts the CFE has agreed to alleviate the osprey nest building problem. In Cholla Bay they have installed osprey perches on carefully chosen power poles so the osprey’s can build their nests in a safe location without disturbing the power lines or people’s property. The Community of Las Conchas has developed the same solution as well in the past with great success. It is believed that both communities are in need of several more perches in order to satisfy the number of mating pairs that the region requires. Work is currently being done to have several more perches installed.
Through my summertime travels in the area of Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons I have noticed over 100 perches that the power companies provided for the ospreys. Throughout the 5 weeks of travel I did not notice one instance where an osprey built a nest onto a power pole unless there was a perch already installed. It must be an uncanny attraction that the ospreys instinctively know that the perch provided is easier and safer to build on than a live power line.
Last winter, the CFE, provided two complimentary perches in Cholla Bay thanks to Chief Engineer Daniel Castro’s efforts. The perches worked like clockwork. Within days two separate pairs of ospreys began building their nests and offspring appeared in less than 6 weeks. “It’s like they know exactly what to do when a perch goes in”, Daniel stated. Daniel is working to have more osprey perches installed in Cholla Bay this winter.
The litter problem can only be controlled by ‘You’! Discarded fishing line and netting material is detrimental to every living species that swims, flies or walks in the desert ecosystem of Puerto Penasco. My next mission will be to encourage the officials of Rocky Point to hand out stiff fines and punishments to anyone caught deliberately throwing out trash in the waters or shorelines of Rocky Point. I hope to have people realize that each act of littering upsets the biological chain that is very precious and fragile for life to sustain in this area. Wildlife in our Rocky Point area helps sustain life as we know it in our Rocky Point area. If the wildlife doesn’t flourish the circle will be broken and we ourselves will not flourish. Every little or large organism affects another up the chain and Yes!, that includes the vital shrimp industry.
I have much more to tell you about ospreys. That will come in another article. For now let’s all work together to protect this wonderful but fragile coastline that we all call home.

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