Monday signaled the start of osprey season in Missoula. The female osprey was spotted at the Ogren Park Allegiance Field nest Monday morning, with her mate arriving a few short hours later. This continues their reputation as some of the first osprey to return to Missoula each spring.
Precautions have been taken since the infamous "Goosegate", which left the OPAF osprey nest-less for the spring of 2013 after a Canadian goose took roost before their arrival. Upon the spotting of the osprey, Missoula Parks and Recreation took off the "goose excluder," (a protective cone) from the OPAF nest.
The couple wasted no time getting right down to business, cleaning up and repairing their home, according to University of Montana wildlife biology professor Erick Greene via the Montana Osprey Cams Facebook page. Greene runs the Montana Osprey Project, in addition to tracking and studying the osprey, they operate multiple live webcams of osprey nests in the Missoula area.
"Every year it is so exciting to see the Osprey return to the stadium," said Matt Ellis, Missoula Osprey Executive Vice President. "It is definitely a sign of spring and better weather when they arrive. We are looking forward to the stadium opening and the Osprey flying above."
The Missoula Osprey professional baseball team is the only minor league franchise with a live mascot living in its natural habitat at their stadium. During the summer, the osprey provide entertainment to all of OPAF's guests, it is common to see the raptors flying around during games with a fresh fish, perched on light poles or the scoreboard.
Season tickets for the 2018 season are on sale at the MSO Hub Box Office. For more information, call the Osprey at 406- 543-3300, stop by the MSO Hub Box Office, or visit the Osprey online at www.MissoulaOsprey.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.