Osprey Nesting Near A Busy Gulfport Street - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Osprey Nesting Near A Busy Gulfport Street

Vicki Osborn has become obsessed with keeping an eye on her new neighbors. And while she is the manager of Castle Liquor and Wine on Pass Road, she swears her behavior isn't the result of her sampling the merchandise.  

"We watch them all day long," says Vicky. "All day. My boss says you're obsessed with that bird, and I said no; I just think it's cool that they're there."

She and others business people along Pass Road are just enthralled by the unexpected site of a family of Osprey nesting on top of a cell phone tower just across the street.  

"Probably about a month, month and a half ago we heard the cry and the call, and we finally located them in the tower and started watching them through the binoculars."

In fact watching them has motivated Vicki to learn more about them.  

"According to the books they get 24 inches tall and their wing span is 54 inches."

We spoke to Gary Hopkins, a park biologist with Gulf Islands National Seashore, about the birds choice to nest so far away from water. He says it is unusual but not unheard of. And Vicki says clearly, the fishing is still pretty good.  

"They do sit facing the beach," says Vicki. "But most of the time I see them leave they're headed towards the bay."

Hopkins says the reduced number of tall trees following Katrina may have played a part in the Osprey nesting here. But whatever the reason, Vicki says she's enjoyed watching the little family flourish just yards away from some of the busiest streets in Gulfport.  

"We have several customers who are bird watchers. They've been in, and we share our binoculars with them. It gives you a little wildlife here in the city." 

by Don Culpepper

Powered by Frankly