George and Hope and their chicks are likely to live for 25- 30 years, so this is an excellent way to introduce you to them as they might be around for quite a while.
I am talking about a pair of Eastern Ospreys who live just up the road from Brisbane. They are native raptors with quite impressive wingspans of 1.5 to 1.8 metres. They are big birds, usually, brown a with white heads. The females are a little larger than the males.
They like their coastal habitats and once they have found a home they will tend to stay and breed there so chances are if you find them, you may come across them again. They love fishing and have long legs to reach into the water to catch fish as well as valves that close over their noses when they dive into the water.
They also have a toe that can be turned backwards to help them hold on to a slippery fish once they have caught it. They love their fish and are experts at spotting them and diving for them.
They lay 1 to 4 eggs but George and Hope have three at the moment. She sits on the eggs and George fishes. Here he is at the edge of the nest thinking it's lunchtime and he better get cracking or else Hope will start her begging calls - little calls which in Osprey language translate to "I am hungry - get on with it".
Both George and Hope sit on the eggs but it is mainly Hope. Once the eggs have hatched, the chicks open their eyes quickly and they can take chunks of food from their parents' bills. They leave their parents' nest when they are 50 - 75 days old. And off they go to find a mate of their own and a new home.
The wonderful thing about this couple is that we can watch how they are getting on and while it is a little voyeuristic, it is well worth it. Osprey House is an environmental centre on the left bank of the Pine River in sight of where Osprey's nest. The centre itself is full of interesting and interactive displays and an army of knowledgeable volunteers who are keen to share their knowledge with everyone.
There are live cameras on the nest and progress is reported in the centre but also on their Facebook page. Go to Ospreyhouse Facebook.
Once out of the Centre you can spend time in the playground just below or walking along the Boardwalks to the Bird Hides to watch the birds- there are many many types in the mudflats of the river. We watched George diving for fish but he wasn't very successful when we were there.