What lives in those exposed large, stick nests built on power poles, communication towers, and large trees? Most likely an Osprey.

Osprey image from Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife

As you can imagine, a bird with a nearly 6-foot wingspan builds a big nest. Now imagine the bird adding a bit more to its nest each year. In the end, it is hard to imagine a nest becoming, over time, 10–13 feet deep and 3–6 feet in diameter!

Nest Challenges

Osprey build big nests and will build on any natural or man-made structure that meets its needs. Sometimes, what looked like a good choice doesn’t work out. Osprey nesting has caused power and service outages. There is always a risk of being electrocuted or collisions.

An Osprey’s nest contains more than just sticks we can see. Moss, bark, vines, grass, and lichen make the nest comfortable. But the birds will also add in other interesting things such as fishing line, baling wire, Styrofoam, and sometimes even plastic containers. Baling wire and fishing line can be fatal if the birds or young become entangled.

Nesting platforms and mitigation techniques reduce these conflicts and increase the number of birds and survival. The species is considered a conservation success story.

Where to see them

You can find Osprey nests near a lake, pond, swamp, reservoir, river, etc.  Live fish is key part of their diets unlike other raptors. They will also eat other smaller birds, snakes, voles, squirrels, muskrats, and salamanders.

Feet first!

Osprey are amazing fishers. Part of their fishing success, compared to other hawks, is undoubtedly due to an unusual toe/claw placement that helps them grip fish tightly. Their real success, however, is in technique.

The technique? Osprey dive feet first into shallow waters (up to about 3 feet) and grab a fish. They will also do this in deeper water where fish swim near the surface. Osprey have water-resistant feathers are the only raptors that dive.

Amazing Migration

In recent years, the number of Osprey residing year-around on the Pacific coast has increased. Normally, the birds would migrate as far south as Honduras. Researchers have found that some Osprey will migrate around 160,000 miles in their lifetimes. They are not sure what is causing this change.


Osprey are an amazing raptor and are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) 16 U.S.C. Sections 703-712 of 1918 (as amended). All active nests (incubating adult, eggs, or young present) of migratory bird species are also protected by the MBTA. In Oregon, Osprey are protected by both state statute and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife administrative rules. Oregon Revised Statute (ORS 498) protects osprey from take, disturbance and harassment. Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 635-044 0130 categorizes osprey as Nongame Protected Wildlife. It is unlawful for a person to hunt, trap, pursue, kill, take, catch, or have in possession, either dead or alive, whole or in part, any Nongame Protected Wildlife.

References and where to find out more…Check the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife site at https://myodfw.com/wildlife-viewing/species/raptors and be sure to download their “Living with Wildlife” brochure at https://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/docs/osprey.pdf. Another excellent resource is the All About Birds page by the Cornell Lab (see https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Osprey/id).

A new report has been published on the economic importance of the Ocean and coastal natural features along the Oregon coast. (Fall 2023) You can access the report via the link below.

An excerpt from the ERG website presented below provides a partial description of the report.

“In 2022, the Oregon Legislature directed the Oregon Business Development Department (Business Oregon) to conduct several comprehensive market analyses of emerging industry sectors within the state. In support of this effort, ERG conducted market analyses of the Ocean Resources and Blue Economy sector, which includes economic activities that depend on the ocean, shoreline, and estuaries along Oregon’s coast.” https://www.erg.com/news/erg-supports-market-analyses-oregons-ocean-resources-and-blue-economy-sector

The Full Report as presented on line by Business Oregon can be found via the following links.

Ocean Resources & the Blue Economy

Two-Page Summary

Full Report

Appendix E: Opportunities Assessment

Appendix F: Funding Database

Coyote (photo courtesy of ODFW)

Where did you first learn about coyotes? It may have been through children’s cartoons. The characters ‘Wile E. Coyote’ and the ‘Road Runner’ cartoons recreated the relationship between predators in a humorous way. Unfortunately, the representation is not very accurate.

Coyotes are North America’s oldest indigenous species. The oldest modern coyote fossils date to 0.74–0.85 Ma (million years) and can be found in Hamilton Cave, West Virginia. Coyotes are thought to have originated near Yellowstone three million years ago!


Coyotes are found throughout Oregon. Their territory stretches south to Central America and north through much of Canada.

There are 19 different subspecies of coyotes inhabiting different areas. They look similar in that they are medium in size with multi-colored coat, and bushy tail.

Coyotes are part of the Canidae family which include wolves (typically larger) and foxes (typically smaller). These three species avoid using the same territory at the same time.  


As populations flourish, are they a nuisance? Conflicts between humans and coyotes usually occur as a result of human errors, often related to making food available.  And, because of the cartoon, we all know that the coyote is always hungry and looking for its next meal.

See Living with Coyotes fact sheet from the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (link in References).


Coyotes will eat just about anything and will shift their diet seasonally and based on availability. If they have to eat grasshoppers to survive, they will. On better days they will be looking for mammals (such as rabbits, porcupines, rodents, squirrels, deer, goat, mice, etc.), fish, amphibians, , and reptiles, fruit and vegetables, and in times of food shortages invertebrates (like grasshoppers), farm animals (like chickens) and even pets. Coyotes also hunt in packs, usually for larger prey.


Unlike the cartoon, coyotes are intelligent and adaptable, and use a highly developed communication system to maintain long-term social and family relationships, and identify territory. Coyotes are considered to be the most vocal of all [wild] North American mammals.

Their howl, or group howls, are easily recognizable. They will also vocalize greetings, which can include a group yip howl.  Sounds can also include agonistic/alarm, and contact which may be made through woofs, growls, huffs, barks, yelps, and high frequency whines. Yelps are a sign of submission.

Vocalizations are also important, and often heard, during breeding season (generally between late January and March). Coyotes form strong pair bonds for several years and are generally monogamous.

These vocalizations always include some body language such as tail wagging, muzzle nibbling, and posture. An aggressive coyote will arch its back and lower its tail, head moving side to side, with spins and dives. Aggression is a normal behavior in a pack and fights are often silent.


Native American folklore contains many references to coyotes. Coyotes may take the form of a trickster, skin walker, or in military/hero symbols, often as savvy and cunning. In Mesoamerica, the Coyote appears in several codices as the god of dance, music and carnality (sometimes as a womanizer). The Coyote also has parts in many creation stories from several native cultures.

Coyotes are an evolutionary success story. Their cunning, adaptability, communications, and ability to understand human behavior makes them stand out both in folklore and in modern times.

–Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife (https://myodfw.com/wildlife-viewing/species/coyotes-wolves-and-foxes, https://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/coyotes.asp)
–National Geographic (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/c/coyote/)
–Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coyote, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fast_and_Furry-ous)
–The Howling: Why You’re Hearing Coyotes This Month (https://blog.nature.org/science/2019/02/13/the-howling-why-youre-hearing-coyotes-this-month/)
–Singing Coyote – the Ultimate Adapter (http://followingdeercreek.com/coyote/)