Osprey family ‘rule the roost’ at Biloxi Small Craft Harbor

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 5:37 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - For more than a year, the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor has had some interesting tenants. They don’t pay any fees, they make a mess and they are getting a lot of love.

A family of osprey has made its nest since March 2020 in an appropriate spot - the crow’s nest of the old U.S.S. Biloxi mast.

Biloxi Port Manager Larry Sablich has become obsessed with the birds.

“I have,” said Sablich. “I’ve never had anything like that. You know, I’ve been around these harbors - this is year 26 for me - and last year was the first time. I’ve seen osprey but never this up close and in your face and watching the babies get hatched, get fed, then fly away. It’s pretty cool.”

It is also been pretty cool for visitors ... as long as they look up, not down, where the fish-eaters drop their leftovers.

“Interest in these birds has really grabbed us, too, because we had no idea,” said Sablich. “I guess it’s the screeching noises they make that catch people’s attention. And when they look up and see how big the birds are, then they really start asking questions.”

The nest was a pleasant surprise for sisters Cindy Newhall and Debbie Fletcher who are visiting from Tallahassee.

“It was,” said Fletcher. “I would not have expected them to be on top of the mast, and it was kind of a cool thing with all the beautiful beach and the water, and look up and see a beautiful osprey pair and realize that they’re nesting. It was exciting for us as birdwatchers.”

Officials are not too worried about the ospreys in this upcoming weather because they have endured a lot worse.

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