Posted: Apr 14, 2013 9:05 AM by Dan Cimmino - MTN News
Updated: Apr 14, 2013 9:06 AM
MISSOULA - It's about that time where osprey are beginning to fly back into Missoula for the spring, but they are discovering some unexpected guests: Canada geese.
"It just seems odd to have geese where there is supposed to be osprey, because that's the osprey's home," resident Julie Toenyes observed.
A few weeks ago, the uninvited guests got cozy within the osprey nest behind Ogren Park at Allegiance Field and for the time being, they're not going anywhere.
"Once the goose is in the nest incubating her eggs she is not going to budge. So an osprey is not going to her off of those eggs. She'll vigorously defend that against the birds," explained Raptor View Research Institute director Rob Domenech said.
The current occupation has left many locals concerned for the iconic birds who have already made their way back into town.
"I'm just worried about their safety and I want them to be able to nest here. They're a really neat opportunity for Missoula and we want wild life to continue here for generations," Toenyes said.
The geese will leave the nest as soon as their eggs have hatched, but the question remains as to whether the osprey will return.
"Once the eggs hatch in the goose nest, which should in about another 10 days or so, the young will bail shortly after, and then what usually happens is that the Osprey will settle right in immediately," Domenech said.
"It's really up to the osprey, and if they don't nest there this year then they don't nest there this year. It would be disappointing to us and our fans, but if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. It's nature's call. We're hoping that they'll come back," Missoula Osprey Vice President Matt Ellis told us.
"They've come a long way to nest here and they're not going to give up that easy. These birds get here sooner than some of the others so I think that they'll have plenty of time," Domenech pointed out.
If what's good for the goose is good for the gander, than hopefully it's still good for the osprey.