An Osprey(s) in Branford, CT

If you happen to be out and about in Branford the last month or two, you may have gone down West Point Road. It’s a slightly out of the way location that is based on a trolley track. It is named, appropriately enough, the Trolley Trail in Stony Creek.

There is a hidden – not secret – animal habitat on the Trolley Trail in Stony Creek. There is just enough parking to create an audience. The area was – and will be again – a harbor for ospreys. They may have left for the summer, but you can catch them in the spring next year at the same marsh.
According to, the osprey come up from the south in March. They hatch their clutch (eggs) around April and then, approximately 60 days later, go down south as far as South America to live for two to three years.

The osprey platforms are raised by crews. Robert Hull, one of those involved with the crews, said that it takes four men to raise the platform. The wood pole is approximately sixteen feet high, with the expectation that the pole will sink four feet into the marsh. Ospreys will not nest if the platform isn’t high enough. The pole also has aluminum flashing of several feet to discourage raccoons and other wildlife from getting into a nest.

For the nest, the crew has to pick a spot near water so the osprey can hunt for fish. It can be salt or fresh water. It also needs to be on land where someone (property owner) is willing to have a nest. There has to be decent distance from other osprey nests because the osprey need room to hunt. Osprey can have a wingspan of six feet. Also, they mate for life. Additionally, the male will hunt while the female stays with the eggs or new hatched osprey. Osprey are known for their excellent vision, which enables them to hunt fish. Their talons are also valuable to clutch and grab their prey. Their prey, fresh fish, is also enticing to bald eagles. Sometimes an eagle will attack and osprey to get at their fish. The osprey also come back to the same nest year after year.

If you are interested in it or any of the Branford Land Trust trails, click here for a more complete listing.

Submiitted by James Canavan.

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Branford Land Trust
P.O. Box 254
Branford, CT 06405
(203) 483-5263


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