A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

This time, the ospreys got there first

Written April 7th, 2024 by Hasso Hering

An osprey spreads its wings atop the Albany railroad bridge on Sunday, April 7, 2024.

A year ago, a couple of ospreys were displaced from their nest on the Albany railroad bridge by a pair of Canada geese. This year the osprey evidently got there first.

This avian drama — nest-building ospreys versus squatters in the form of aggressive geese — has played itself out for years, as longtime users of the Dave Clark Riverfront Path have had occasion to observe.

Last year the geese prevailed in the fight over the long-established nest, causing the ospreys to build a substitute on another of the bridge’s unused poles.

I didn’t see such a conflict this year. If there was a fight, it evidently was over by the time I saw the big nest on Sunday. And the ospreys won.

As for the smaller nest, hastily constructed in April 2023, it’s farther away from the path and hard to see. But I thought I spotted what looked like a goose’s head peaking over its edge.

I’m glad those big birds on the bridge are back this year. Watching them for a little while makes the riverfront path especially interesting in the spring. (hh)

The osprey pair looked secure in their massive nest on Sunday, April 7, 2024.

10 responses to “This time, the ospreys got there first”

  1. DE says:

    Yay!!! Glad to see them back where they belong!

  2. Jennifer D. Munro says:

    Yay! The geese have taken over the osprey nest for at least two years running, so what a relief to know that the osprey have their sturdy nest back.

  3. Susan Stockdale says:

    Not related to the fabulous Osprey nest, but can you tell me why some days over most of Albany there is a distinct smell in the air that’s similar to cooked cabbage.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      Cooked cabbage? Could be worse. But no, I have not smelled it and I don’t have an explanation.

      • hj.anony1 says:

        Speaking of stenches, how about that smell while driving EAST on 9th just before Hill and Oak. Moderated a bit but…..

  4. MarK says:

    The construction on the bridge will drive them away. I just hope they come back!

  5. Jacho Eaton says:

    About the cooked cabbage smell, might this be out in the area of Lochner/Marion/34th street? I worked at the Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility for many years. Some part of the manufacturing businesses out there often emitted a strong aroma similar to that. Or kind of a kitty litter smell. As Hasso says, I can think of worse. Being an Albany resident from the paper mill days, I can tell you that is almost pleasant in comparison. The people that used to live near the mushroom place in Salem would have paid to get some refreshing cooked cabbage air freshener. All a matter of perspective I suppose. Just smells like money to the folks that make a living from the manufacturing!

    • RICH KELLUM says:

      I have been to the Mushroom plant in Salem, it is bad, not a question, but realize that the plant was there by itself before any houses were built around it.

  6. Cassandra Pairis says:

    Hasso, have you seen the Eagles off of the 5 fwy? I see them often at Timber Linn park, so wonderful to see them as well.


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