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Observations & Images
29 July 2007
Approximate age of fledglings in days: 123

Please note:
This page concludes active observations at the Refuge for the 2007 nesting season.
Watch for 2008 nesting season observations to begin in late fall/winter of 2007.
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People have asked what the area looks like around this season's Osprey nest. This page is an attempt to give some idea of what this part of the Refuge is like.

Jungle Trail, which is a dirt road that cuts through part of the Refuge, is dusty and hot during the summer. If that is not to your liking, wait a little while for the afternoon thunderstorms and then the road will be nice and muddy.

All this part of the Refuge used to be citrus groves that are slowly being removed to make way for habitat restoration. To reach the nest one passes through this little canopy formed by two oak trees that make a natural "gate" separating the land being restored from the remaining citrus grove.
Brazilian Pepper trees are quick to move in once cultivation stops in a grove. Here the road is lined on both sides by these noxious exotic invaders. Refuge staff and volunteers spend many precious hours "pepper busting" to remove these non-native growths.
It is hard to tell but this picture actually shows three separate rows of citrus trees that are now succumbing to native and non-native vegetation. The density here is pretty high. In other areas the citrus trees are still fairly free to show a bit of their past splendor but with the irrigation system shut down as it is in the process of being removed the moisture demanding citrus trees are slowly withering away and in many places only their leafless skeletons remain. Despite their fading condition, many of the citrus trees still produce fruit which is quite edible.
As we proceed down the road in this and the next two pictures the landscape is dotted with dead citrus trees poking out of the ground.
A Refuge building damaged by the hurricanes that swept through a few years ago.
Past the building, down at the end of this road is the line of Australian pines planted as a windbreak for the grove in which the Ospreys built their home.
A view of the observation site looking toward the nest. From a clearing in this dense growth were made almost all of this season's observations. The nest is visible as a little dark smudge in the dead tree just off center to the right at the top of the picture.
Although Ospreys could be heard and, in some places, seen from afar, none approached the nest and what Ospreys that could be seen could not be identified as any belonging to the nest. The nest now sits abandoned and forlorn---and a bit droopy---till that day sometime in the late fall or winter when the Fish Hawks return to reclaim their old home to start the exciting effort of trying to raise a family once again.
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OspreyWatch by Bob Montanaro
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