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Posts tagged: Osprey

40 Years Of Studying Region’s Osprey

This juvenile osprey was nesting above Lake Coeur d'Alene on Saturday. North Idaho has the largest nesting population of osprey in the Western U.S. (SR photo: Kathy Plonka)

As an adult osprey circled overhead, Wayne Melquist perched an extension ladder against a piling in Cougar Bay and scrambled up to the nest. “There’s two here – one big enough to band,” he called down to others in the pontoon boat. As Melquist attached an aluminum band to a wriggling young osprey’s leg, boat operator Ross Walkinshaw worked to keep the craft from rocking in the wind that swept across Lake Coeur d’Alene. For more than 40 years, Melquist has been making precarious ascents to band juvenile ospreys. The long-running research project offers valuable insight into the lives of the majestic birds, which raise their young on the region’s lakes and rivers but winter in Mexico and Central America/Becky Kramer, SR. More here.

Question: Have you ever watched an osprey drop and snare a fish on Lake Coeur d'Alene?

Cougar Bay Group, County Agrees

Item: Piling on: Cougar Bay group, county agreement will spare posts/Alecia Warren, Press

More Info: The Cougar Bay Osprey Protective Association, Inc. reached an agreement with Kootenai County on Tuesday that will allow the handful of bay residents to maintain the pilings, which they hail as crucial for wildlife habitats and keeping a little peace and quiet on the north end of Lake Coeur d'Alene. “This finally puts an end to this controversy that started two or three years ago,” said Scott Reed, attorney for the nonprofit association. Under the agreement, the osprey association will volunteer time and resources to protect the pilings and booms in the bay's no-wake zone.

Question: Is this a good settlement? Or do you think all the pilings should have been removed from Cougar Bay?

Parting Shot — 6.10.11

Walkabout snapped this photo of an osprey return to its nest during one of our daily trips around Tubbs Hill this spring.

SR Columns: Alookin’ For A Home

Times are hard for ospreys, too. Bad luck and bad housekeeping left a feathered couple homeless in Post Falls a few weeks ago. Originally, according to Terry Harris of the Kootenai Environmental Alliance, the two ospreys nested comfortably on an abandoned piling in the Spokane River. But that piling was removed along with many others on the river. Next, they set up house in a nest box on an Avista power pole above busy Spokane Street in Post Falls. Alas, Mr. & Mrs. Osprey constructed their nest so well it held water, causing power lines to arc not once but twice. The pole caught fire and snapped in half the second time, leaving the birds of prey homeless/DFO, SR Huckleberries. (See rest of the story, column here)

Which bird of prey impresses you most — eagle or osprey?

Ben Stein: Osprey On Rail Bridge

Many of you will remember actor/commenter Ben Stein (pictured in AP file photo) as the monotone science teacher in “Ferris Bueller’s Day off.” But did you know that he regularly visits Sandpoint? In a recent post for CBS News, Stein writes that he doesn’t know how why gold prices are soaring while prices for everything else is stagnant. Or how the U.S. will keep Iran from having a nuclear bomb. Or why the U.S. Treasury is riding high when investors are nervous. Then he adds this: “I do know that on the south end of the railroad bridge across the mighty Pend Oreille River here in North Idaho, a family of osprey have built a magnificent, sturdy nest and sit unmoved as freight trains a mile long go by, shaking the whole town. I know they are fearless, majestic, a glory to see. They fly next to my little boat and dive on trout and bring them back to their nest, and I could watch them all day. I cannot figure out this wicked, cunning world of men”/Ben Stein, More here.

Question: Do you lose site of the beauty around us as a result of the various crises in this country and the world and the nastiness of partisan politics?

Post Falls Tourism: Osprey Are Nesting

From Post Falls Tourism, via Facebook: “Osprey are nesting in Post Falls now.”

Question (from Post Falls Tourism): Where are your favorite places to view osprey families?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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