Word on the street (or another way to put it, my friend Carrol Henderson at MN DNR told me) that there was a formal survey of osprey nests in Minnesota this spring. Here's the scoop:
I thought you would like to know that Pam Perry, the DNR Nongame Wildlife Program Specialist from Brainerd, has completed tallying the data for the 2004 statewide osprey survey and came up with 608 nesting pairs. She has distribution maps and an interesting summary of all of the typical and incredibly nontypical structures on which the ospreys nest. This is the first time we have done such a survey so we can not speculate if this represents an increase or decrease in osprey numbers. Best wishes, Carrol
I feel like I see more osprey in the state but that's not always conclusive. One of my favorite things about working at the Wayzata bird store is that we typically see osprey fly over the store and they are carrying large goldfish. I'm pretty sure the fish are from the ponds at the Carlson Center. Although, last summer I was out doing a bird walk behind the store and an osprey flew over with what looked to be a koi worth at least $350. Gotta' be careful about teaching your koi to swim up when you tap the surface of the water. It makes fishing all the easier for osprey, herons, egrets and raccoons.