Raptors return

Emily Carreiro
Emily Carreiro, a naturalist from the Blue Hills Trailside Museum in Milton, shows a red-tailed hawk to visitors at Felix Neck. Photos by Lynn Christoffers

By Anna Marie D'Addarie - April 19, 2007

Sandwiched between two days of bad weather, the 14th annual Osprey Festival was blessed with a great day as the Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary in Edgartown welcomed back ospreys to the Island in a big way last Saturday. More than 300 people took part in all things osprey - from building a full-sized nest to eating delicious bird's nest candy.

screech owl
A screech owl takes in the view, almost 180 degrees, at last Sunday's Osprey Festival in Edgartown.

Neophyte carpenters constructed chick shelters from pre-cut pieces under the guidance of Emily Reddington of the Mass Audubon Coastal Waterbird Program. The shelters will be placed on Island dunes to be used by terns. Open on both ends to allow the baby terns to escape from small mammals, the tops of the shelters are camouflaged with sand and seashells, making them invisible from above. While Carolee Aiello of Edgartown proudly watched her son, Vito make a shelter, she said, "He is making something what will be out in nature." This was their first Osprey Festival.

In the craft tent, little hands made fish prints, osprey hats and bracelets, and also collages of the osprey's environment. The guided walks were very popular and there was usually a line at the telescopes trained on a pair of ospreys in their nest.

More than 30 volunteers helped the Felix Neck staff make the day a success.

Hannah and her mother, Dede Hagen
Hannah and her mother, Dede Hagen, of Vineyard Haven make a fish print.
Thomas Aiken and Glenna Barkan
Thomas Aiken (right), from Beverly, makes an Osprey hat with help from volunteer Glenna Barkan of Oak Bluffs.