London Ospreys are Thriving

The fishing must be good as London Ospreys have raised 22 young birds this year in 11 active nests. Some young have already taken short flights but all are still dependent on adults for food. The adults will be relieved of “day-care” in August and will head south by Labour Day with the young heading to Brazil unescorted by early October.

Female Osprey at Greenway Park. Photo by Glen Berry.

This year the young Osprey tally as of July 23rd, 2021 stands as follows:

Nest Location Young Notes
Labatt Stadium 2 First to fly from the nest
TD Waterhouse (Western) 3  
Windermere & Adelaide 2 New location
Windermere Ball Field 0 Goose occupied nest early
Windermere Golf Course 0 Goose occupied nest early
Gainsborough & Hyde Park 2  
Oxford & 3rd 0 Nest removed, not active
Clarke & Fanshawe 2 New Platform old location
CDM on Fanshawe 2 First year for young
Hudson Boatworks 2  
Airport -Huron & Dakota 2  
Tartan & Sovereign 0 Nest removed, not active
Dingman & White Oak 2  
Millar Berry Farm 2 New Nest – First year for young
Greenway Park 2 New Nest – First year for young
TOTAL 22  

The number of young raised to fledging was the highest seen in our records:

Year Young to Fledging Age Active Nests
2021 22 11
2020 19 10
2019 16+ 8+
2018 16 10
2017 13 8

We had quite a bit of Osprey drama this season with a measure of triumph and disaster. At first we were concerned when the traditional nest at Clarke and Fanshawe disappeared over the winter. An Osprey died at this location several years ago, a suspected case of electrocution as the nest spanned the wires. Full credit goes to Ontario Hydro as last winter they installed a new platform a safe distance above the wires. That platform was occupied immediately upon the return of Ospreys.

Two nests were removed from communication towers and not replaced. However the Ospreys raised chicks for the first time at CDM on Fanshawe Park, the Windermere Soccer Field, Millar Berry Farm and Greenway Park.

Osprey Family at Clarke Road & Fanshawe Park Road. Photo by Ric Symmes.

A tragedy occurred for the Osprey couple nesting on the lights in the Soccer Field at Windermere and Adelaide. The male Osprey became entangled in fishing line near the Adelaide Street bridge and kayakers found him dangling dead below the bridge. We feared for the two very young birds but the female Osprey turned in a “gold medal” performance doing nest and protection duty plus catching fish to feed herself and the growing brood. Both chicks are full size and were ready to fly by mid-July.

This year, many people following the riverside path in Greenway Park next to the water treatment plant had new entertainment. A young Osprey pair came late, built a nest of sticks on the platform provided by the City of London and raised two healthy young birds. Kudos is due to the City Parks and Treatment Plant staff that sponsored and built this platform.

Both Labatt Stadium and TD Waterhouse (Western) stadium have capital programs to upgrade the lighting in their facilities this winter. Osprey monitors have been in touch with the project managers, both of whom are Osprey friendly, plan to provide new platforms above the stadium lights and have it all done before the Ospreys return. Western is considering a possible nest-cam as part of the new arrangement. We will continue to keep in touch with the project managers in hopes that both will be successful.

Osprey at Labatt Park. Photo by Glen Berry.

Finally, we would like to thank all the Osprey monitors and reporters who have sent us news and pictures of the Osprey nests around London. Thank you !

Ric and Sandy Symmes
London Osprey Monitor Coordinators
July 23, 2021