Generations team up for osprey project
MILFORD >> Any day now, osprey chicks will make their entrance into the world on the West Shore.
For Cathy Hagadorn, director of the Connecticut Audubon Society Coastal Center at Milford Point, it’s a beautiful sight that usually occurs in the first weeks of June.
But this year there’s an extra feel-good component, because she’s seen the birds bridge a generation of environmental stewards through a special Eagle Scout project.
Hagadorn said it all started when resident Howard Diamond, who has a house overlooking a salt marsh, wanted to build an osprey platform.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has guidelines for their construction, she said.
“He felt it was important to support the osprey population,” said Hagadorn.
“He had learned of how citizens could become active stewards in this way through the Connecticut Audubon Society’s Osprey Nation,” she said.
Carol Dunn, an Osprey Steward and a Coastal Center board member, suggested a local Eagle Scout might be a good partner in the project.
That Scout turned out to be Matthew Rodriguez, who began planning the platform just off Surf Avenue as his Eagle Scout project last summer and finished March 19.
Within weeks, two osprey were seen adding new nesting material to it. During the week of April 26, the female was “observed in brood posture,” Hagadorn said.
“This is very exciting to have a new nest erected and have osprey arrive and start a family so quickly,” Dunn said. “Other platforms have been erected, with many years passing before a pair has settled in.”
There is also an osprey nest at the Coastal Center where chicks are about to emerge. It can be seen 24 hours a day at www.ctaudubon.org.
Hagadorn said chicks everywhere are about ready to hatch.
“The feel-good story here is that so many people like birds,” she said. And, that Diamond wanted to build a platform and make the project bigger by embracing the next generation, she said.
In recognition of his Eagle Scout project and environmental work, Rodriguez was awarded a brass plaque by Diamond at the Coastal Center’s Return of the Osprey Party.