Posts Tagged 'conservation'

Guest Blog Post #2: “Let’s Talk Birds: The Osprey”

 

Editor’s note: Four Rivers is very excited to welcome Donna Cole, of Annapolis Creative, as our guest blogger for spring! We’ll hear about the birds migrating through the area over the next few months, from someone who really knows her subject! 

The Chesapeake is our backyard and since it’s now March (insert applause), we absolutely, positively have to talk about one bird in particular.  It is our harbinger of spring.  And it’s the osprey.

While some maintain ospreys arrive back to our area exactly on St. Patrick’s Day every year, I have yet to personally witness that.  And yes, because I occasionally have way too much time on my hands, I do look for them on St. Patrick’s Day.  And pretty much every day in March.  Whatever the exact day, ospreys return from their winter homes in Florida, the Caribbean, Central and South America in March.  Maybe some might be a little late and others a tad early (one was seen last weekend on Kent Island and one last week at Fort Smallwood Park), March really is the month of the osprey for us.

Ospreys often return to their same nest locations, with their same mates.  They mate for life and though they don’t necessarily spend the winter months together, or make their long journey back to us talon-in-talon, osprey couples return to the same nest / nest area within days of one another.  Their first job upon return – build / rebuild their nests, which you will see in trees, on platforms, poles, lights and channel markers/buoys.  That building / rebuilding process does take some time – they need just the right building material (sticks/branches) and it’s a one-branch-at-a-time selection and delivery process.  It’s slow going.  As time progresses, mating takes place, then eggs, then babies.  The beauty of all of this is we can often watch every step of the process with those birds that make their nests within our viewing distance.  Take for instance those on platforms in waterfront communities, the nest at the foot of the South River Bridge, southbound/Annapolis side, or the ones in the light above the athletic field at Truxtun Park – just a few examples of many within the Four Rivers Heritage Area.  Ospreys are fish-eating, birds of prey and like other raptors, you will often see them getting mobbed by crows.  Ospreys leave in the fall, though in recent history there have been sightings of some year-round within the Chesapeake watershed – I’ve seen one in December in Annapolis.

The following websites offer loads of great information about ospreys  –

Very informative, lots of resources, osprey platform plans and you can register to become an osprey watcher – http://www.osprey-watch.org/

Follow ospreys as they migrate – http://www.ospreytrax.com/OspreyMainPage.html

Very important information for home/boat/business owners should ospreys decide to nest on your property – http://www.fws.gov/chesapeakebay/osprey.html

Chesapeake Conservancy’s Osprey Cam – http://www.chesapeakeconservancy.org/osprey-cam

To learn more about our local birds, join the MD Birding group on Facebook.  It offers a wealth of information and beautiful photos by Maryland’s bird-enthusiasts – https://www.facebook.com/groups/MDBirding/

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Images above: top, Osprey by Donna L. Cole; bottom, Osprey montage by Donna L. Cole.

— Donna Cole, Annapolis Creative

Staff Blog on Stewardship: Carol Benson

I recently attended a very inspiring conference in Gettysburg, the 7th Annual Conference of the “Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area,” which had such an intense focus this year on sustainable growth and heritage tourism that I and a number of my fellow heritage area directors decided to set aside the time to attend. This turned out to be a great decision!

The best takeaway for me was about getting the Stewardship message across. More than one speaker told us that the biggest threat to preservation is not really the factors you expect (economics, developer greed, somebody wanting to make a fast buck), but it is lack of awareness. If made aware of the real meaning and value of our precious historic buildings, landmarks, and cultural landscapes, our unique built environment, the incredible wealth of our natural resources, our decision-makers want to do the right thing. It is our job to highlight what is important and valuable and irreplaceable about our heritage, to watch out for the threats, and to educate one another — the public, our students, our stakeholders, decision-makers and legislators — to help us all gain a heightened awareness of the roles we all must play in the Stewardship of our heritage. Thanks to the conference organizers for sharing this powerful Stewardship message, and the examples of precious resources lost and others saved : awareness will make the difference.

Guest Blogpost on Stewardship: Donna Ware

Donna Ware, Senior Vice President for Preservation at Historic Annapolis, Member of the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, and Chair of the Four Rivers Stewardship Committee, begins our dialogue with the following:

What Is Your View?

  What is your view? This blog will explore the importance of stewardship of our heritage and landscape. Stewardship is an action and belief that we are all responsible for preserving and perpetuating the legacy that has been given to us. Who cares? We are all caretakers of this legacy. Rachel Carson, the great conservationist, challenged us with the responsibility of caring for our environment when she asked, “One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, “What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?”

Created in 1996, the Maryland Heritage Areas Program was designed to be an economic tool for enhancing the heritage tourism industry in our state. Since its inception, one of the integral elements of the program has been stewardship of our cultural, historical and natural resources. If we are to draw increasing numbers of tourists to the many state heritage areas with the promise of a engaging and quality visit, then we must be able to provide that memorable experience. The state program calls upon us to sustain our regional identities, use our resources wisely and protect historical, archaeological and natural resources. We want future generations of visitors and residents to “view” and to see or experience again and again the compelling legacy of our area – one that has been well cared for by good stewards of the past, present and future.

So, what is YOUR view? Please join our dialogue! You may comment here or submit your own blogpost with your own viewpoint and/or statement on a stewardship issue important to you.
To submit a post for consideration to be a part of this blog, send your text to heritage_are at aacounty.org and we will contact you, thank you! We look forward to hearing “Your View”!


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