On the Connecticut River a sure sign of spring is the return of the Osprey and resident Bald Eagle activity. Grab your camera and join the RiverQuest crew for a special spring cruise along the river and enjoy what spring is all about!
From late March into early April the Osprey returns to Connecticut from their southern wintering grounds to start nesting. The Osprey is a large bird of prey (raptor) with a 4’6” to 6’ wingspan that eats fish; therefore it is sometimes referred to as the fish hawk. Our Connecticut Ospreys migrate south in late August through late September to areas where their food supply will not be affected by frozen rivers and lakes. This trip can take them as far south as Argentina. Ospreys of breeding age, at least three years old, are returning to the area now, to start a new nest or to re-establish and re-build a nest they may have used in previous years.
Ospreys nest along the edges of the lower Connecticut River, from the mouth of the river in Old Lyme/Old Saybrook up river as far as East Haddam. There will be activity on the many man-made nesting platforms at the Roger Tory Peterson Preserve in Old Lyme and several other nesting platforms on the river, supported in “natural” trees and on the top of each of the navigation markers that identify the river channel.
A great way to see this nesting activity is by boat. RiverQuest, an eco-tour vessel located at Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam is offering several cruises to the general public to view and learn about the Osprey and other wildlife that may be spotted, including mammals, water fowl, herons, egrets, hawks and another famous raptor, the American Bald Eagle.
After disappearing from Connecticut in 1948, the Bald Eagle has made a comeback and there are several active eagle nests on the river. We will be able to view two of these nests from RiverQuest and very possibly, see one or more of our resident Bald Eagles. If we are lucky and the nests are successful we may even see parents tending to the nest.
Other areas of interest that will be seen on our cruise include the Goodspeed Opera House, Gillette’s Castle and the Chester/Hadlyme Ferry. The cruises are a little over two hours in length, cost $40 per passenger (no children under 10 years old please) and there will be complimentary coffee and tea. To learn more about these informational cruises and to reserve your spot with our easy on-line booking, please visit: ctriverquest.com or call the RiverQuest phone: 860-662-0577.
April 12, 2014 – 4:00pm to 6:30pm
April 13, 2014 – 4:00pm to 6:30pm
April 19, 2014 – 9:30am to 12:00pm & 4:00pm to 6:30pm
April 20, 2014 – 11:30am to 2:00pm & 4:00pm to 6:30pm
April 26, 2014 – 4:00pm to 6:30pm
April 27, 2014 – 4:00pm to 6:30pm
Mark and Mindy Yuknat