The return of Steamboat’s osprey |

The return of Steamboat’s osprey

— Place your bets.

The Yampa River Botanic Park is anxiously awaiting the return of their osprey birds from winter vacation.

The big question is, when will they arrive?

“It’s anybody’s guess,” Botanic Park founder Bob Enever said. “I would guess some time in April.

Last year, the Botanic Park had its first family of ospreys after a nesting platform was built. The birds were first noticed in May.

After a period of courting, the male and female hatched three chicks in early July.

The chicks did not have much time to learn to fish on their own. In September, the birds left separately for a warmer climate.

“Even the adults do not stay as a pair,” Enever said.

It is believed the birds migrate to South America.

“They continually move looking for food,” Enever said.

Osprey live a dangerous life, including high speed dives into the water to catch fish. They also have to fend off attacks from eagles.

If he survived, Enever expects the male to return to the nest first, followed by the female.

“It’s absolutely amazing,” Enever said.

In two to three years, the chicks and expected to return and find their own mates.

“Who knows what will happen,” Enever said.

The Botanic Park is hosting a contest for people to guess when the osprey will return.

Information is available at

The three closest guesses will receive a prizes from the Botanic Park, including a signed copy of Enever’s book, “Steamboat Osprey Family.”

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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