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The Awesome Osprey

Dec 13, 2018 | Great Bay, New Hampshire, Healthy Habitats

 Photos courtesy Andy Morffew.

As anyone who lives around New Hampshire’s Great Bay knows, osprey know how to make a splash. Watching these awesome raptors barrel feet first toward the water at speeds of up to eighty miles an hour is a thrill.

For the staff at our Great Bay Reserve, it’s also a reminder of what’s possible when conservation, science, education, community effort, and congressional championship work together to protect something precious. Since 1980, the state’s osprey population has grown from just three active nests to close to 70 breeding pairs. In the process, this awesome raptor is reclaiming its place in the local ecosystem and the work of our Reserve.

The osprey’s spring return to the bay is a sign the alewife and shad are running. It’s also a prompt for the Reserve to launch the programs that bring educators, 5,000 students, and close to 10,000 nature lovers to the Great Bay Discovery Center every year. The splash of an osprey fishing is the sound of waters healthy enough to sustain fisheries that bring millions of dollars to New Hampshire’s economy each year. Watching local families glued to the Reserve’s “Osprey Cam” proves that curiosity about nature transcends generations.

Thank you, osprey. Your return to New Hampshire gives all of us hope and inspires us to work harder to meet the challenges ahead for 2019.

Have you had an encounter with an osprey or another critter at one of our Reserves? We’d love to hear about it! Share your Reserve story.

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