READER PHOTO: 1 wavy osprey nest

May 11, 2018

Tom Richardson photographed this osprey and the nest it built on Green Can 13 in the middle of the Wareham River. “It’s going to be very seasick once the boating season starts!” Tom reports. To submit your own photos for possible publication, email:

Comments (11)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 09, 2018 18:57

Wow, that's impressive that the osprey were able to weave that so it stays on.  Sticks must be passing through the big eyelet on the top of the can.  Usually a pair of osprey will work tirelessly, often traveling inland to select just the right materials when building their nests.  They are amazing!


Boat traffic will certainly pose a challenge to them hatching eggs and raising young.


That's if the authorities don't consider it a hindrance to navigation and remove it after all that work for the poor birds!

Posted by: Steve Holmes | May 11, 2018 13:43

Has anyone got pictures to share of the Osprey on top of the pole in Onset. WBTS Mr Buckminster has been and continues to be very supportive and protective of our Osprey community here in Wareham. Osprey are an interesting bird, and yes they work hard for their nesting. Beautiful picture.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 11, 2018 15:06

Steve - I know that Gary is supportive.  I wasn't referring to him or his department.  I'm wondering about the Coast Guard?

Posted by: WWareham resident | May 12, 2018 06:57

WBTS, being on the river which is inland from Buzzards Bay would the Coast Guard even maintain that can or would the town be responsible sorta like State  County and Town roads? I'm not sure so I'm asking not telling.

In the bog behind my house where the dog attack took place, there is an Osprey nest on one of the high poles. They are magnificent birds and very protective of their nests. When walking the dog you get within 150 yards of the nest the giant protector circles and circles until you have cleared far enough away for it to be comfortable..... Beautiful photos.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 12, 2018 08:00

WW - I wonder the same thing but I have seen the Coast Guard maintaining the Wareham River cans.  I also see the Coast Guard boat traveling in Wareham River periodically.  I'm not sure if they are patrolling or what.  Anyways, I hope they leave it alone.


I remember as a kid  in the 80s watching the Osprey begin their comeback.  They  appear to be doing well.  They are very interesting  birds. Amazing to watch them dive and come up with fish.

Posted by: bluebird | May 13, 2018 12:36

The USCG AtoN (Aids to Navigation Dept) maintains all the Federal buoys (both Nuns and Cans!) in the Wareham channel. At this time that means all Aids up to N "28" (Red Nun #28) off the fuel dock as Zecco Marine. There was a plan to discontinue the Federal Aids above N "20" (Red Nun #20) and have those buoys replaced by PAtoNs (Private Aids to Navigation) maintained by the Town. Although 1 Nun Buoy was eliminated a couple of years ago (N "24", just North of Tempest Knob Boat Ramp), the Federal Aids remain. The USCG does occaisionally make routine patrols up to Wareham Harbor (not often enough!) but due to tight budgets, they don't come up as often as they once did. They make those patrols to check for any pollution problems, any hazards, and any buoys that may need maintainance, if a buoy is in need of work, they will then send the AtoN team to fix it (Buoy tenders are all Black hulled CG vessels) As long as the osprey nest does not interfere with the identification of the Buoy, the USCG will usually leave it alone, however, C "13" has needed to be replaced now for several years (paint is fading and rust is making the buoy harder to see and obscuring the reflective markings). They used to just hoist the buoy up, slap a coat of paint on and drop it back in, obviously enviromental concerns prevent that now, and so a freshly painted buoy is set on the chain in place of the weathered one. Many years ago, the USCG maintained the buoys in hte Weweantic River, but back in the 1980's those Aids were discontinued due to budget cuts. The Buoys are now PAtoNs owned and maintained by the Town of Wareham. (note their smaller size)

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 14, 2018 06:33

Bluebird- thanks for that information.  You now your stuff!  C13 is looking weathered. Even so, hope the USCG leaves it alone this year. Also hopefully the birds don’t continue adding sticks and cover up the #13.


I know the PAtoNs in the Weweantic well.  That river is treacherous.  I recall a time (possibly in between the USCG buoys and the PAtoNs) when there were no/very few markers up there.  I had a few close calls and have a some friends with boats that found a few rocks the hard way!  I thought the Wareham Boatyard put the PAtoNs in. I often question the logic behind that rt. 195 boat ramp.  It’s a nice ramp, allowing launching of good sized boats.  However the trip down the river is difficult. Boulders everywhere, shallow, winding, and a low bridge that most boats can’t fit under at high tide.  I just can’t imagine a non-local/non familiar person deciding to pull off rt 195 to launch their boat there.  It’s just not a friendly ride out to the ocean.

Posted by: Steve Holmes | May 14, 2018 12:28

WBTS I figured that as you have always supported Gary and crew. He has excellent relations with the CG, maybe a good word from him will get us past the birthing season then they an rehab the can, because hopefully the Osprey will come back to the same can next year as well.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 14, 2018 13:57

Steve-that's a great idea.  Yes, he & his guys are the best.  He knows me by my real!  I'll bet he's already seen these comments and is already doing something to protect the nest.

Posted by: bluebird | May 14, 2018 18:53

WBTS- I believe the Osprey is a "protected species" and as such, the USCG would not be able to "evict" them until any eggs are hatched and the young leave the nest. However, I could be wrong? I love watching the ospreys, but wish I had a good way to prevent them from landing on my masthead wind-vane! They broke it every year about mid-summer, leaving me with a useless fragment up there instead of the bright red pointer I use for judging wind direction relative to my course. I finally replaced that setup with a stronger one...... they ended up bending the tacking arm on one side causing the vane to only work on one tack. Fixed that by installing white plastic tube over the arms that rotate if something lands. OH WELL! I don't like the damage caused by their landing on the boat, but sure do find them fasinating to watch as they hunt for fish, then dive like a WWII divebomber to capture the fish and fly off to the nest...... WOW!


Actually, I wonder if the RTE 195 Boat Ramp was the result of typical Federal Highway Planning/Construction.... you know, we can get the $$$ so lets build it, even if no one uses it! Probably location was chosen by someone with no thought to the low bridge and twisting channel? Besides the long ride to open water (and that low bridge!) the few times that I've visited that ramp.. it just seems kind of remote and not exactly a "safe, secure" area........ kind of a place I wouldn't want to be after dark. Not real convenient either, yes, it is right off the highway.... but if you come from 495, you have to drive up to Rte 105 in Marion and double back..... if you come the other way, you can get there fine, but then have to drive to RTE 28 in Wareham to reverse direction.


I have long been amazed at how few boats seem to hit rocks in the Weweantic, I tend to go slow up and down the river (in either power or sail boat) to better see the rocks before I hit them (used to be convinced that someone either moved them each winter or added one or two new ones each year to keep boaters on their toes!) however, most boats seem to go full throttle at least between the river mouth and the powerlines! YIKES!!! You are correct that Wareham Boatyard used to put out private aids, but they were very much "non-conforming" being white buoys with orange stripes (normally used for NO WAKE buoys or rock markers) and they were numbered "backwards", proper AtoNs always are numbered so that the numbers increase as one proceeds upstream (or into a harbor) WBY had them starting at the boat yard and numbers increased as one moved DOWNstream. Also, being all the same, non-conforming color, who knew which side to take them on for "safe water". Just thinking, that ramp does make a great canoe/kayak/small motorboat launch, there is a lot of scenic river above the ramp, I once took our 14' outboard all the way up to the dam at Horseshoe Pond, although I came over from the Wareham River, didn't launch at the ramp.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | May 15, 2018 12:11

Bluebird- thanks for the stories.  I've never had a problem with an Osprey, but I've been violated by many other seabirds!  I'm like a combination of Bill Murray hunting that Gopher and the guy on Christmas Story fending off the Bumpis's dogs when it comes to keeping them of my boat.  The worst is the Blue Heron for me!  They are beautiful but watch out for whet they release!  I string ropes, fishing line, shiny tin things, fake owls, etc but they still find a spot!  They roost for the night.  They land on the boat just before dark and stay there making a mess all night.  Curses!  There's an audible contraption that sounds a tone that's supposed to keep them away.  They're expensive and easy to steal so I've been reluctant.


Yea, Horseshoe Pond.  I do that too but with an 18' Center Console that has a depth finder.  It seems funny going under Rt 195 way up there in a good sized fast boat.  It's plenty deep at high tide...6+ feet so I run it fast.  It's a thrill!  No rocks in the middle (at least haven't found any yet)  Fun ride.  It's interesting to watch when the vegetation as it transitions from salt to brackish to nearly fresh at the dam.


And one more thing, last time I did that run I stopped and looked up the 195 boat ramp.  There were cars parked side by side, coming and going.  No boats.  No fishing.  Just a sketchy looking hangout.  I can only imagine what goes on there.  It would be great for smalls, canoes, kayaks but it just doesn't look inviting.


Anyways, good luck with your friends on your mast!

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