Osprey add interest to Mirror Pond

Mirror Pond visitors this week included a pair of osprey, those graceful birds generally known as “fish hawks.”

The birds attracted considerable attention as they swooped over the pines at riverside, scouted the river, then occasionally dived for fish. Their batting average was low, possibly one fish out of 20 dives.

Harassing the osprey were birds that are nesting in the Mirror Pond area. Blackbirds dived on the fishing birds, threw them off course and ruined their nose dives toward the water.

Through the years, these birds, not more than a pair or two at a time, have fished the Mirror Pond. Once they drew the criticism of ardent Bend anglers, it was proposed that the osprey be shot.

But a naturalist who enjoyed the antics of the osprey objected. He was the late Robert W. Sawyer. The birds, he said, had as much right as man to fish in the Deschutes — and had been getting their trout from the river long before man appeared on the local scene.

Sawyer got considerable backing, including a nod from professional naturalists who noted that osprey in their power dives frequently come up with weakling fish.

Some of those fish are possibly diseased, it was pointed out. Osprey, by removing such fish, protect the trout that remain in the river.

Since that day, some 20 years ago, there has been no local campaign to rid the Mirror Pond of osprey. The birds now are welcome visitors.

They add to the interest of Bend’s beautiful Mirror Pond.

Source: Bend Bulletin ©1962