By Kate Williams
Another NFCT partner in Coos County, NH shares a local perspective from the Androscoggin Valley. Our thanks to Richard Tessier!
From Richard Tessier, Great Northern Moose Lodge, NH
We have been asked to contribute to the NFCT blog on an occasional basis from a local perspective and we are thrilled at the offer and humbled by the faith put into us by being invited to contribute.
A sure sign of spring, when it’s not snowing in late April in Northern New England, is when the Geese, Ducks and Robins show up in around everyone’s backyard and local areas, but here in the New Hampshire’s North Country along the Androscoggin River we also decide that when the raptors show up it indicates that spring is here.
The intersection of NH Route 16 & 110A was home for a mated pair of Osprey (Pandion haliatetus – Fish Hawk) last year, after that nest sat empty for two years prior, but this pair fledged three last summer from this very nest. We are unsure if our Berlin Fish Hatchery folks and numerous visiting Fly-Fishermen are so happy to share the river with these very effective fish hawks though.
A fair number of our Northern NH visitors along this route stopped to observe and take pictures of them with their young. Within the past week or so this pair have returned to their same nesting site and it has been a pleasure to see them once again. I remember the days not all that long ago that Raptors where in deep trouble due to the use of chemicals to control insect pests, I was a youngster back then, and the recent removal of the Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus – Also a fisher) from the endangered species list was a welcome sign of our collective efforts to clean up our environment. Something that the NFCT actively promotes throughout the trail’s entire 740 miles.
A piece of trivia, a Bald Eagle will actually steal from the smaller Osprey when/if it gets the opportunity. Ee have at least two mated pairs of eagles at the Lake Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge near Errol, NH., also along the trail.
But back to the osprey nest at 16 and 110A: The utility pole that the nest sits atop is about 25 yards or so from the road edge, so the viewing is easy to the naked eye and a few good pictures are certainly obtainable, with just a little bit of patience. But, I wanted to get just a bit closer and see if I could get that special shot of the nest from directly below. Please don’t try this yourselves – better to leave the osprey in peace, as we are so glad they have returned.
We hope that you’ll enjoy this and our future submissions to the NFCT blog throughout the summer, and take time to visit our local winged residents if your travels bring you nearby.