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Osprey returning to Missoula ballpark

Missoula OspreyThe home of the Missoula Osprey (short season A; Pioneer League) will once again host osprey this season, as a nest at Ogren-Allegiance Park was protected from colonizing geese.

Here’s the deal: the nest has been home to migrating osprey since the ballpark opened. Last season, however, early-arriving geese got to the nest first and laid eggs, successfull excluding osprey from the site.

To make sure osprey were actually present at the home of the Osprey, University of Montana biologists set up a geese excluder at the nest and took it off last week when the osprey appeared. From the Missoulian:

“I took off the goose excluder on Friday afternoon, and the female (osprey) was very attentive and watching from one of the light poles,” University of Montana biologist Erick Greene said in an email Monday….

With their reserved nest open for action this weekend, the osprey moved in Monday. They could be seen all morning ferrying sticks and clumps of grass to the pole top, as well as bathing in the river. A pair of geese paddled nearby.

“Living right over there, I see them in the sky a lot,” said neighborhood resident J.R. Roof, who was walking the Riverfront Trail on Monday morning. “There’s also that great blue heron that hangs around down here, and tons of other birds. This is a jewel of Missoula to have the Clark Fork right here. It’s a lot cleaner than it was 20 years ago when I started coming here.”

RELATED STORIES: No osprey at Osprey games this season


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