The Ospreys of Belle Isle Marsh


Mira Ivanis, Writer/Copy Editor

Today’s first feel good story flies straight out of Winthrop…literally. A few years back, a nesting pair of ospreys visited the Belle Isle Marsh and have been coming back ever since. I interviewed Ms. Daniela Foley to see what was the story behind this family. “Last year, they ‘fledged’ three babies from 3 eggs,” Ms. Foley told me. “That means that all the eggs survived, and the babies survived to fly off and be independent on their own.”  

 “That’s a great success rate! I also learned that osprey eggs incubate for about 40 days, so we should see the hatchlings in about mid-June” she added.  

“I love watching ospreys because they are big raptors with a wingspan of about 6 feet sometimes” she says. “It’s really cool to watch them hunt for fish, because they dive into the ocean head first, catch the fish, and turn it around in their talons until the fish is facing head-first.  That way, when they bring it through the water and up into the air to fly with it, it is more aerodynamic which makes it easier for the bird to fly.”

Photographer's Photos Of Ospreys In Hunting Mode Show How Calculated Everything In Nature Is | Bored Panda
Photographer catches Osprey’s hunting motions. Photo Courtesy of Bored Panda.

According to the Tree Hugger, ospreys are at least 11 million years old. This gives the animal an advantage for its “sea-faring” life because it has unique characteristics that set it apart from other raptor species. One example includes an outer toe can be angled backward to grip the fish better while hunting. 

“The ospreys are on a platform–built by the DCR–in the middle of Belle Isle Marsh,” Ms. Foley says. “You can see the platform from the Winthrop side–Morton Street or the path behind Belle Isle Cemetery (behind the Gorman Fort. Banks school).”