Greenbriar Osprey Project
The Oxford Conservation Department developed the Greenbriar Osprey Project to provide a unique opportunity to observe the behavior and activities of a pair of osprey that spend the spring and summer months in the Greenbriar and French River area. Osprey have made this area their northern home for many years, living off the fish in the river and surrounding waterbodies. The goal of the project is to engage students in the Oxford School System with the live view allowing for the study of the lifecycle of these migratory birds. This project provides educational opportunities to the students in elementary through high school grades. Internet access also provides viewing opportunities beyond Oxford to anyone interested in observing the nest and the bird’s activities. Osprey are
more common along coastal habitats so being able to observe them in our inland river basin is a unique opportunity for our community.
The Greenbriar Osprey Project was made possible by funds awarded by the Cecelia J. Smolenski/Millette Charitable Trust and the generous donation of time, expertise, equipment, materials and support from the following individuals and organizations:
Oxford Department of Public Works
Oxford Fire Department
Justin Leduc, Oxford MIS
Al Stearns, Stearns Electric, Inc.
Brian Krevosky, BK Tree Service
Bill Davis, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife
Tim Russell, US Army Corps of Engineers
About the Greenbriar Osprey Nest
The active osprey nest at the Greenbriar Recreational Facility is located on a platform and is currently housing a pair of osprey and their chicks.
The osprey had originally made residence in the light fixture over third base of the baseball field. The lights were not used at that time in an effort to prevent damage to their nest or disturbance to the birds.
Ospey Nest in Light Fixture at Ballfield
After the osprey migrated south in the fall of 2009, the nest was removed from the light fixture and a decoy owl was installed to deter the birds from using the light fixture again.
In 2010, the Oxford Conservation Department set about installing a platform to provide an alternative nesting spot for the birds. National Grid agreed to donate and erect a utility pole while the Town's DPW built the platform. After much joint effort, the new platform was installed in July 2010.
Spring of 2014 was the first use of the platform by the osprey. In both 2014 and 2015, a pair of osprey visited the nest, did a little housekeeping, but did not stay. It was expected to take several years before a pair of osprey would take to the platform based on other similar projects to re-establish the species. Once established, osprey re-use their nests for many years and many generations.
The osprey nest is approximately 50 feet high. It overlooks a shallow pond and is in very close proximity to the French River.
Through the use of a live streaming camera, viewers can now watch the osprey pair activities such as nesting, eating, and raising their young from the egg laying stage to the fledging juvenile stage.The unique behavior of these birds and their relationship to each other that would otherwise not be seen, can be observed through the use of the camera.