|New Osprey Platform on Lake Loop|
|Written by Ashely Adams|
|Tuesday, 05 November 2013 19:39|
Despite the less than the hospitable weather, things were hopping at the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary on October 19th. Visitors brave enough to laugh in the face of the chill and wet of late autumn may have noticed some work happening on the far side of Wintergreen Lake. A local Eagle Scout, Levi Vandyke, was installing a much anticipated Osprey nest platform. Anybody interested in seeing the finished work is welcome to go on the Lake Loop and check it out. While we’re not planning on seeing too many Ospreys this time of year because Ospreys are now migrating to the southern coast of North America and parts of South America. We will be monitoring for activity come spring time!
Levi with his Osprey Nest Platform.
Ospreys are amazing raptors. Ospreys, also known as sea hawks or fish hawks, feed almost exclusively on fish. As such, they have many unique adaptions that other raptors don’t. They have rounded talons, tiny spikes on their feet, and reversible back toes; all designed for keeping a grip on slippery fish. They have nostrils that close when diving in the water, as well as eyesight good enough to see a fish from over 100 feet above the water. These amazing predators have the second widest distribution of a single species of raptor in the world with populations spanning every continent except Antarctica.
Ospreys suffered sharp declines in populations during the 1950s-1960s due to the spraying of DDT, but have recovered thanks to bans on DDT pesticide as well as reduced persecution. That doesn’t mean that Ospreys have it easy. They often nest on power lines, creating a precarious situation for the birds and electricity loving people.
The platforms, besides making wonderful substitutes for power lines, are a great way to encourage osprey to nest in the area. They offer a safe area for the birds to nest while keeping predators away.