Falmouth’s Famous Summer Residents are Back!

Some of Falmouth’s most famous summer residents are returning. The osprey usually begin arriving at their summer nesting sites around St. Patrick’s Day each spring. They will stay until September, rearing their young, until they return back to the Southern Hemisphere. 

These fish-eating raptors have made a miraculous rebound on Cape Cod following the ban of DDT in 1972. In fact, in the 1960’s there were fewer than 100 ospreys throughout all of New England. Recent estimates suggest Falmouth now has a population of over 120 mating pairs! 

While the ospreys love to nest in trees, they will also take advantage of cell towers, utility poles, light poles and even chimneys! While there are already some nesting poles around Falmouth, there were not enough to prevent fires and deaths in the osprey nests last season. 

The Osprey Project

It’s no secret that Falmouth loves its ospreys, and this winter Kevin Friel and Barbara Schneider joined forces to raise funds and erect 20 nesting poles with platforms for ospreys that were nesting in unsafe locations on power lines.

Osprey Project
Osprey Project Volunteers

Because ospreys return to the same nesting sites year after year, it can be difficult to deter them and there have been a number of fires on power lines. Unfortunately this has resulted in death for osprey and their young and destroyed nests, as well as power outages.

Eversource has tried placing deterrents on many of the problematic nesting sites, but ospreys do not give up easily! Thanks to the Osprey Project there are 20 safer locations placed in close proximity to the unsafe utility poles and they will hopefully be full in the next few weeks.

Osprey Project Volunteers

It was wonderful to see the Falmouth community come together to support its iconic raptors. From individual donations to corporate sponsors, it didn’t take long for all 20 poles to become a reality– but it didn’t stop there.

A group of dedicated volunteers, along with some local business volunteers, met to erect the poles at different locations. It was truly a community effort– one that the ospreys are sure to enjoy this spring/summer and many more to come!

Want to learn more? Check out this informative article from local bird expert and author of the Weekly Bird Report on WCAI, Marc Faherty.  

Photo Credit: Kevin Friel