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Thread subject: Advocate for Osprey Platforms
Name Date Message
cathy 08/09/04 12:11 pm I have been reading David Gessner's book "Return of the Osprey" and realize that ospreys need platforms to build nests because there aren't enough natural nest sites for them. Also the picture of the electrocuted osprey on the power line (site referred by, I think, Celeste) made me realize that the ospreys near my building and their returning chicks need platforms along the Duwamish River. On Cape Cod, where David Gessner writes, the power companies have been paying for Osprey platforms. I am going to retire from my current work in September, and plan to find other osprey fans in Seattle area to see what we can do to get some platforms around here. Also the ospreys I see over Puget Sound probably need platforms to increase their population. Its so interesting how I can be unaware of such a simple thing, such as the need for Osprey platforms, yet its right there in my face (and on my computer screen) all along, and one day, I wake up and see it. Perhaps others in Seattle are already working on this and all I need to do is join them, or perhaps it needs to be started before they return next Spring.
Celeste 08/09/04 12:34 pm

The above is an interesting article written by Progress the electrical supplier in Florida. Seems that they have had power outages caused by osprey using electrical posts for their nests, and hence were electrocuted causing these outages. Progress "helped" themselves and the osprey, by building protection for the already existing nests where there were eggs, and introducing other nesting areas for the osprey. I would think it would be great to enlist the help of an electric company in any state were osprey use their poles for their nests. In Florida's case, they realized that the pine trees where the ospreys were used to using no longer existed. They also realized that they had an influx of osprey recently, (great news!) The article has lots of details, but here is where companies can get involved with maintaining and helping our wildlife, and in the end good publicity for themselves also. Everyone benefits!
Celeste 08/09/04 01:04 pm So much so little time...!!!!!Here are some things that people do to discourage osprey from nesting on dangerous electrical poles. A utility company Oregon does the following........................

Installing a taller non-energized nesting platform next to the electrical pole. If a nest already has eggs on an electrical post; insulated jumper wires are added to isolate the nest from energized wires and equipment.

Ospreys are very willing to accept alternate nesting platforms, especially if a few armloads of sticks from their "old" nest are used on the newer platform.

Recently on one of my trips to the Fire Island Lighthouse here on Long Island....I noticed for the first time on Ocean Parkway a brand new Osprey platform. However, there was nothing much in the way of nesting material to "start" the nest. The platform looked brand new, so I intend to check it out early in the new year to see if it "occurs" to anyone that nesting material must be "started" for the osprey. Have to do a little homework to figure who to call!

Cecilia 08/09/04 01:08 pm How could become the osprey lady of Seattle :-) Seriously, just the fact that you recoginized that there is a problem is already the beginning of the solution! I suggest contacting the Public Relations Department of your local utility company. Most power companies are very concerned about their public image and they LOVE to make public interest contributions that don't cost them a lot of money. Add to that the posibility of plenty of good press coverage and they can get very excited about helping environmetal and animal causes :-)

You could also contact your Department of State (if they control wetlands in your area) or the DEC and they might be interested in helping. I'd also call your local Audubon chapter, Ducks Unlimited and the Nature Conservancy (if they are active in Washington) to see if there are any osprey rescue or platform building groups already in existence.

One of our local environmental organizations sponsored the erection of a pole in our harbor last year and LIPA provided the pole and placement. It got in all the papers and was fun for everyone. I have high hopes that you will be able to make a big difference in how Seattle thinks about ospreys if you set your mind to it!
You go girl!
cathy 08/09/04 01:39 pm Thanks for the resources and encouragement. I will make a note of these ideas. Local schools are also teaching lessons on salmon recovery - why not osprey recovery? A web cam makes a big difference and instant science lesson. Of course salmon recovery and osprey recovery may be related, but ospreys will eat any fish - but fish of some kind are required.
Shelley 08/09/04 02:48 pm Cathy, I have no idea if this is even remotely useful but the Kent, Washington eaglecam is sponsored by the WDWF in your state. Here's a link to that cam site. You would probably recognize better than I if anyone or anything there might be of use to you, as a contact point:

ve followed the eaglecam iste for 3 seasons now.
cathy 08/09/04 03:23 pm I watch that one too - hasn't it been wonderful to have seen those 2 young eagles from parent nestbuilding to brooding to little ones in the nest to flying around? I have a cousin who lives on Lake Meridian and she says the parents roost in one of her trees. Next time I talk with her, I'll ask about the young ones. WDFW is another good idea. We have a big park nearby so osprey nest rockets wouldn't offend homeowners. I wonder if Gessner is going to discuss the rocket issue. (I am 1/3 of the way through the book)
Cecilia 08/09/04 04:54 pm I don't remember if Gessner discussed the "rocket" issue in his book but one of the web sites that Celeste or Tiger sent us to this summer had a funny article about a nest and an incident with a volunteer. The one who drew the short straw had to climb up a scary ladder, brave the possible attacks by the parents and bring the chicks down for banding...all of which he did, but much to the delight of all the folks on the ground one of the adults shot off a special volly just for him :-) He wasn't too happy about it but they were doubled over laughing. And they reported it in the site newsletter with such glee. Proof, I guess, that we're never too old for a good poop joke :-)

Every time one of the chicks, in "our" nest, heads over to the edge for nature's call, I think of Mickey's famous words..."You know you've been watching the cam too much when it gets to the point that you can predict the next rocket" :-)
Shelley 08/09/04 07:12 pm Cecilia wrote: "Proof, I guess, that we're never too old for a good poop joke :-) "

Especially if we are not at the receiving end of it.....sorry, I just could not resist... :-D

Marie 08/09/04 07:48 pm Looks like you all have had a lot of fun with this subject of Osprey Platforms and 'POOP' rockets. It is interesting to note why the ospreys insist on using those dangerous hydro poles once they have established a nest. Here also in the DND property a pair established a nest last year on the hydro pole. It was unfortunate that one of their three juveniles 'fried' itself on the wires, before the season ended. So this year when the ospreys arrived back to breed, what did they do, but go back to the old nest site even when a platform was provided for them close by. The authorities apparently moved the entire nest over to the platform last year...well it seems after MUCH PERSUASION the ospreys are raising two chicks on the platform now. I wonder what methods of persuasion they used. I am too afraid to ask.

Copyright © 2004 DPOF

Tom Throwe
Last modified: Fri Dec 31 23:49:43 EST 2004