Have you ever seen an osprey in the wild? They look a bit like eagles, but they’re actually a type of hawk. They frequent many different habitats because they’re pretty adaptable – as long as they’re close to a body of water that’s stocked with fish, their favourite food, they’re happy! Speaking of fish, ospreys are excellent hunters. They have keen vision and can detect objects underwater from as far away as 40 meters in the air. They use their sharp, curved talons to plunge feet-first into the water and grab their prey. Ospreys are awesome!
Welcome to my Eyrie!
Having a baby is hard work and requires lots of preparation – especially when you’re an osprey! Osprey parents work together to create large nests called eyries. They’re made of sticks and lined with grass or moss. The female usually lays three eggs and then both parents help to incubate them for 5-6 weeks. When the chicks hatch, they’re covered in fluffy feathers. They stay safely in their nest for almost eight weeks, sticking close to home even once they’ve left the nest. They’ll come back for food until they’re ready to set out on their own – and that’s when they need our help!
A Safe Space
Back in the 1960s, ospreys were in big trouble. A widely used pesticide called DDT was causing their eggshells to become so thin they would break, and with fewer osprey young being born, their populations plummeted. Thankfully DDT was banned in 1972 and since then ospreys have made an amazing comeback, but now these beautiful birds are facing threats like habitat loss. That’s where you come in!
Working with our partners at the Toronto Region Conservation Authority, we’re helping restore a 16 km stretch of meadowlands in Toronto that will provide quality habitat for thousands of species of plants and animals, like the osprey. The Meadoway Project will restore this important greenspace by removing invasive species, cleaning up litter, and planting the native plants that animals like the osprey need to survive!
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