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  • Writer's pictureSimon & Lorraine Freeden

Osprey Breeding Time

Ospreys are listed as Vulnerable in NSW. They are Australia's smallest eagle or raptor. They are found on coastal areas and wetlands of Australia mainly in the temperate to tropical zones. The female is similar to the male but is larger and has a fuller larger band on it's chest. Like most of our raptors they have the same partner for life.

We are lucky to see Osprey's regularly on the river cruises and have a few pairs living in the area.

Our local Ospreys are nesting again as it is the breeding season. We have seen them recently in one of the local nests in a big Hoop Pine in Ocean Shores and there is also a pair further up the river. They usually use the same nest and add to it each year. Both birds bring sticks to the nest then the female places them and lines the nest with grass, seaweed or bark. The female will sit on the egg while the male brings food to the nest.

The photo below shows a nest that was built a few years ago by a young pair. It was very exposed and they didn't raise any chicks in both the years they used it. Unfortunately the old dead tree blew down in a storm.

Ospreys feed mainly on medium size fish and don't swallow them whole but tear them apart. They are amazing to watch diving headlong from above and can go right under water to snatch the fish out of the water then lift off to a nearby tree to eat. The Brunswick River is part of Cape Byron Marine Park so the river is a great habitat for the local Ospreys with both Marshalls Creek and Simpsons Creek declared no fishing areas (except in the town area), so it's a very healthy breeding ground for fish.

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