The Redlands’ celebrity ospreys have shown off their new chick to the world.
The osprey fledgling took its first tentative flight recently from its nest atop a specialised 20m nesting pole built last year by Redland City Council at Wellington Point.
Deputy Mayor and local councilor Wendy Boglary said it was thrilling to see the successful first flight of the newest member of the Wellington Point osprey family.
“We were all waiting expectedly to witness her first flight, which occurred on the first day of spring,’’ Cr Boglary said.
“The newest family member has not been as easy to spot this year, so it was quite exciting when she emerged from the nest.
“The osprey family has become quite an attraction and is very popular with locals.’’
The osprey’s first flight was photographed by Wellington Point resident Trevor Linton, who described it as a special moment.
“The day before, I saw the chick standing on the eastern edge of the nest flapping its wings like crazy. It still had baby fluff on its wings as was presumably trying to clear it and exercise,’’ Mr Linton recalled.
“The next day it did the same thing and then just took off. I am pretty sure it was its first flight. I had my Nikon D4 with a 600mm lens and was able to capture it – it lasted for about four-and-a-half or five minutes.
“Last year’s fledgling was sitting in the nest watching and then it landed back in the nest and just sat. I thought it was brilliant.”
Council’s Senior Advisor of Environmental Planning and Policy Candy Daunt said the family had made itself at home in the new nest.
“Modifications to the nesting cradle earlier this year have provided a safe and stable nest for our popular osprey family,’’ she said.
“Observers should view the osprey family from the seat across the road and not disturb them – so as long as they are not disturbed in any way they should call it home for years,’’ she said.
The ospreys are part of a citizen science project centred on three of the Redlands’ most
magnificent raptors which Redlanders have been encouraged to join.
“The aim is to identify and map the nests of eastern ospreys, white-bellied sea eagles and brahminy kites,’’ Ms Daunt said.
“Awareness of our raptors has increased thanks to the Wellington Point osprey family and the success of the nest pole project.’’
An initiative of Redland City Council, Birdlife Southern Queensland, the Birds in Backyards Program and the Atlas of Living Australia, the data collected will help the management of areas where the birds nest. It will also help to fill gaps in information about the birds and their nesting behaviour.