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Thread subject: Ospreys on the Duwamish River
Name Date Message
cathy 11/19/04 10:53 am I joined an Washington State bird list serv in which people send in their bird observations. There is a Boeing employee who daily observes one place on the Duwamish River (yesterday saw a bald eagle) - the river is a Dept of Interior Superfund cleanup site - its so toxic. Anyway, I asked him via email about the nest I used to observe from my workplace and he wrote this interesting note about all the ospreys and where to find them. The "mouth of the Duwamish' he refers to is an industrial area opening into Elliot Bay - the major port of Seattle. Its pretty amazing how ospreys insist on their territories but just need us to allow them to fish and nest relatively undisturbed. I certainly will go to that location and observe birds. Now I know where the nests are on the Duwamish!
Thanks for the note, and hope you're enjoying retirement! 

 I've seen the nest on the tower above the Holiday Inn previously, but I didn't look at it this year. I'll drop down there soon to see what's happened regarding the structure. It may be that City Light has put up a box for the ospreys, but I need to check. 

Here's info on the DC (Boeing Developmental Center) ospreys. Six years ago, a pair of ospreys dropped sticks and tried to build a nest on the power tower here. They were unsuccessful in those attempts. I contacted City Light, and that Fall, workers put up a very large plywood box on top of the tower, took all the sticks that had dropped onto the catwalk, and put them in the box. The ospreys nested, but weren't successful the first year after that, but did raise young the next two years. 

However, in Fall 2002, wind gusts blew some of the sticks out, which then contacted the power lines, shorting them out and knocking out power for a time. (I talked with a couple of maintenance guys who happened to be working on the roof of the 9-98 building when this happened.) So in January 2003, City Light put up a pole across the river at Hamm Creek, and moved the material (not the box -- that was taken down) from the tower to there. The ospreys took quite a bit of time to restructure the nest, but did manage to fledge two young in late August 2003. They returned this year on March 31, and laid eggs about a month earlier, fledging 3 young in July. 

In August, a pair of (probably) untested ospreys attempted to nest on one of the light poles in the Oxbow parking lot near the rec center. (This is WAY late, but could be an attempt to get territory for next year.) Ray Hamlyn (a retired Boeing guy) documented their progress. Ospreys have a nests on these identical types of poles down at Terminal 105, on both sides of the river just to the south of the West Seattle Bridge. Another nest is almost right at the mouth of the Duwamish. Yet another nest is on the top of the cell-phone tower along Airport Way just SW of Tulley's Coffee (S. Hinds St.) - this might be the most urban osprey nest location in Seattle. This latter pair mostly fishes on Lake Washington, from what I've seen, as opposed to the Duwamish or Elliott Bay. 

If you get the opportunity, you might want to drop down to the Hamm Creek restoration site. Some pretty nice birds there at times. I'll attach a map. 

When I take a look at the tower near the Holiday Inn, I'll let you know what I found."

Nancy L 11/19/04 11:36 am You're really getting into the action now, Cathy. Be sure to let us know what you find!
Celeste 11/19/04 02:08 pm How nice it was that he wrote all the info for you. Now you will have to keep us "up to date"! Enjoy!

Copyright © 2004 DPOF

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