Wow, two thousand miles is a long way to go to watch a baseball game! Especially with the home opener nearly three months away.

But the Missoula Osprey baseball team has informed us that the first two fans have arrived at Ogren Park Allegiance Field in Missoula for the 2018 season. The female osprey (now we're talking about the actual bird) was spotted at the stadium nest behind center field this week, followed a short time later by her mate. This continues their reputation of being some of the first osprey to return to Missoula each spring, completing their 2,000-mile migration.

You may recall a few years ago when a pair of geese beat the osprey to their stadium nest. Since then, Missoula Parks and Recreation has taken precautions by using protective cones - the "goose excluder" - on the nest until the osprey's arrival.

The Montana Osprey Project at the University of Montana always does a great job tracking the area migrations and nesting areas. Their Osprey Cams are always a big hit.

So, welcome back osprey (the birds). We'll look forward to watching your aerial displays when the osprey (the team) are playing baseball. It's pretty cool that 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. Can't wait to watch games and birds alike!

DB