Osprey population booms at Wesport sanctuary

WESTPORT, Mass. (WPRI) – Westport, Massachusetts is home to a large population of osprey at the Allen’s Pond Wildlife Sanctuary.

At the sanctuary, volunteers and organizations annually monitor the breeding of 75 pairs of osprey. This year, these pairs were able to produce 230 eggs and of those eggs, 136 hatched.

Sanctuary Director Gina Purtell said the number of osprey is actually the highest it has been in seven years. There are many reasons for this population boom, but one likely reason lies in the weather.

Chicks are at their most vulnerable in the month of May, and several days in a row of cold and rain can put them at risk of freezing and starving to death.

“Dad’s aren’t fishing as well, eventually mom might have to go off and get some food for herself, if dad isn’t fishing well, and then the chicks are really exposed,” said Purtell.

Fortunately, this past May had mostly tranquil weather. The trend continued through the summer and the young are now getting a chance to practice their fishing.

For more information on osprey, visit www.massaudubon.org

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