Most people go to Freeport to shop, the savvy make their way to Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, an oceanfront jewel with hiking trails and picnic area. One of the biggest natural attractions is the osprey nest on adjacent Googin’s Island, viewable from the mainland. This week, Dick, an elder male osprey, returned to his summer home and began preparing it in anticipating of his partner’s arrival from their winter place in Brazil.
The ospreys return (there’s another pair nesting in a salt marsh in the park) coincides well with the park’s upcoming Wolfe’s Neck Birding Festival, Sunday, April 25, from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. in the park.
According to park info: Osprey are one of the largest birds of prey in North America and eat fish almost exclusively. Once an endangered species because of pesticides, they are found on all continents except Antarctica. Osprey build nests on high trees and man-made structures. They mate for life, though if a mate dies, the remaining bird will find a second mate. Osprey can live 15 to 25 years.
Dick is thought to be the older male of the two Wolfe’s Neck pairs, according to according to Park Manager and naturalist Andy Hutchinson. The bird is mated to a younger female, and the mating is thought to have occurred nine years ago, after he lost his first mate.
Photo: courtesy of Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands