[Tweeters] Fwd:Homeless osprey get their kayak back

Devorah Bennu birdologist at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 11 07:18:48 PST 2004

Hello Tweets,

this story link includes a very cute picture of the
nesting osprey that you have got to see!


Homeless osprey get their kayak back

sharyn.lonsdale at heraldtribune.com

While Hurricane Charley spared most homes in
Englewood, it wasn't as kind to one of Englewood's
most recognizable dwellings.

For six years, a pair of osprey made their home in a
14-foot kayak high up on a pole on the east side of
the bridge over Coral Creek between the fishery and
Gasparilla Marina. 
Marian Schneider, owner of Grande Tours, had put the
kayak up as an eye-catching sign for her business just
before Hurricane Andrew blew it down in 1992.

After she got the kayak back up, members of the
Department of Environmental Protection asked her to
take it down.

That's when she noticed the pair of osprey nesting
there. "The DEP said don't touch it," Schneider said.

Grande Tours moved, but the sign didn't. Osprey mate
for life, and Schneider said most of the birds
migrate, but the kayak osprey have lived there
year-round, producing about two chicks a year.

"You can see their little heads from the bridge," said
Schneider, who calls the birds "the bookends."

When Charley came through, the kayak was blown off its
perch along with all the other osprey nests in the

"They were sitting there kind of forlorn, looking for
it," said Ed Engel, an instructor at Grande Tours.

Engel and another instructor, Joe Mullen, found the
kayak floating in the bay. It was in good condition.
They rescued the boat, but it stayed on the ground
during the active hurricane season.

The osprey pair kept coming back from nearby posts to
look for their nest, and people kept looking for the
birds. Schneider said the birds have long been a
popular landmark and photo opportunity. "Everybody
noticed them," she said.

With nesting season approaching and hurricane season
waning, Bill Gregor, manager and CEO of Gasparilla
Marina, volunteered to use his barge to haul the kayak
back to its perch. He did so with help from Engel and

"We had it up by about five o'clock, and the birds
were back in by six," Engel said.

Plenty of people have told Schneider how happy they
are to see the pair back, and she said they usually
ask her how they got the kayak back up on the piling.

"I tell them high tide."  

Devorah A. N. Bennu, PhD
Independent Scholar and
Research Associate,
American Museum of Natural History
birdologist [at] yahoo [dot] com
public blog: http://girlscientist.blogspot.com

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