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Osprey House Environment Centre: Wetland conservation at its best

Located on a picturesque site on the Pine River in Griffin, north of Brisbane, Osprey House is a place where you’ll be surrounded by nature while learning about the importance of preserving land where animals can thrive.

The centre is owned by the local Moreton Bay Council but run entirely by knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers. Inside the interpretive centre, there are interactive displays that are great for children, including a life-size dugong, animal displays and touch tables.

But, the most popular attraction is a live video stream from the osprey nest. The osprey pole is a specially built raptor nesting platform that was built at Osprey House in 2006 to provide a safe nesting site for raptors of the Pine Rivers’ estuary. A camera installed above the platform captures nesting and perching behaviour which is live streamed to the centre and viewable on the Osprey house website.

Wildlife Watching

Ospreys, from which the centre takes its name, are medium-sized fish-eating birds of prey which have become very rare or almost extinct in some parts of the world. However, at Osprey House they can be seen at almost any time of the day, soaring over the river, diving into the water to catch fish, or carrying food back to their nest.

Throughout the reserve there are both natural and created habitats alongside community facilities where it’s possible to see abundant wildlife. There are playgrounds, gas barbeques, tables and seating, so it’s an ideal place for a family day out. But, before you settle into one spot, take a walk around the different habitats by following the boardwalks.

Along the boardwalks, there are art pieces that interpret the natural environment from the local Aboriginal point of view. The unique works of art are by Aboriginal artist, the late Ron Hurley, whose art is displayed in major galleries across Australia and abroad. Ask for a copy of the Yali Moyum (Tell the Message) brochure from the volunteers to help your understanding and appreciation of the paintings.

There are a number of different habitats to explore. Visit the mudflats to see a variety of small marine creatures, waders and seabirds. Mangroves are one of the most important ecosystems on the planet and the mangroves at Osprey House are home to many important species. And, in the open eucalypt forest there’s the opportunity to see possums and a visiting koala.

As well as ospreys, there are quite a number of other bird species to be seen, including herons, whimbrels, royal spoonbills and tawny frogmouths. For keen birdwatchers, the bird hide, accessible via the boardwalk, allows close, sheltered and quiet observation of many birds, especially with a rising tide.

A Passion Project

Osprey House was born out of the drive, determination and passion of a small group of dedicated people. Construction began in January 1996 and the first stage, which included the building and boardwalk behind the mangroves opened to the public on 18th March that year.

The opening was timed to coincide with the RAMSAR convention meeting which took place in Brisbane in 1996. The Ramsar Convention’s broad aims are to halt the worldwide loss of wetlands and to conserve, through wise use and management, those that remain. In 2005 Osprey House also became a member of the Land for Wildlife program.

Where?

Address: Dohles Rocks Road, Griffin, Queensland 4503

Website: www.ospreyhouse.asn.au

When?

Monday – Sunday | 10am – 4pm

Jennifer Gaskin
Jen is obsessed with both food and travel. She believes that the way we explore the world, and our own backyards, can have a profoundly positive effect on the planet and its people. Her favourite things to do are explore far-flung corners of the globe, eat as many different types of food as possible and work up a sweat in the boxing ring!