Manly is famous for its Sea Eagle, yet another local bird of prey is currently stealing the show at Rat Park.
A pair of Eastern Ospreys has built a spectacular nest at the top of lighting located at the park, home to local rugby via Warringah Rats, much to the fascination of locals such as Phil Francis who kindly sent in a picture of the birds’ lofty and extensive nursery.
This particular pair, we learned, has been nesting at the same site since at least 2020.
According to the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage website, the Eastern Osprey is a large, water-dependent bird of prey that feeds mostly on fish. It has an impressive wing-span of up to 1.7 metres and can be recognised by its distinctly bowed wings that are dark brown above, and barred underneath, and with white underwing coverts.
They are found throughout the Sydney basin in areas close to the ocean or large waterways such as rivers, lakes or lagoons. And wherever there’s a good game of footy..
They breed from July to September in NSW and typically lay two to three eggs, which are incubated by the female for about 40 days. The young once hatched are usually ready to fly the nest after about nine weeks.
The Eastern Osprey is listed as a vulnerable species so it is recommended that they are left alone, though we can’t imagine anyone willing to climb the 20-plus metre high lighting at Rat Park to get a closer look.