The Osprey is a rare bird in NSW and is listed as ‘vulnerable’ on the Threatened Species Conservation Act (1995). According to Greg Clancy, University of New England/National Marine Science Centre, there are less then 300 birds in NSW and this number has only been achieved by the protection of nest sites and the erection of artificial nest platforms.
There are several known osprey nests in the Byron area and Belongil has one that is built on an artificial nesting pole erected approx twenty years ago at the initiative of members of the environmental group BEACON. Unfortunately the nest is in need of repair and re-construction is currently being investigated.
For several years the Belongil osprey seemed to be on its own but last year (2006) it found a mate, they worked for several months to reconstruct the nest, laid their eggs, hatched their chicks but within two weeks one chick was found dead at the base of the pole and the other had disappeared.
Ospreys in the area are often seen combing the beach and estuaries for food …. so chicks beware … they are seen along the Brunswick River and may travel far inland but only a short distance off the coast.