Osprey Nest Building Services
The Problem With Osprey Nests
The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a particularly large hawk, with the ability to hunt over both water and land. Because of its ability to hunt over the water and catch fish, it is sometimes referred to as a sea hawk, fish eagle or fish hawk. An Osprey prefers hunting over water and their diet consists mainly of fish, making the canal, ocean, river, and lake shorelines of Florida a particularly tempting place to nest.
Florida Beach Homes
Habitats that cater to the osprey lifestyle include areas close to the ocean, salt marshes, rivers, canals, estuaries, lakes and ponds. Osprey nesting habits usually result in nests built in the open and high in the air. An osprey nest is usually built near or over the water, so that makes areas like Boca Grande, Pine Island, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, St. James City, Bokeelia and Fort Myers Beach particularly tempting locations.
In many cases, development can be a problem for wildlife, but the Osprey is quick to take advantage of it.
Development means telephone poles, electric lines, billboards, light poles, channel markers and communication towers - all of which provide the perfect place to build a nest - at least as far as the Osprey is concerned. Some osprey will even nest on top of boats and yachts!
In the photo above, the osprey bird nest has been built on an intracoastal waterway marker and the osprey seen below has chosen to build its home on some very large, very dangerous power lines.
Osprey nests are typically very large and very heavy. All that sod, sticks, and bark can add up quickly. Osprey nesting habits can result in nests as large as 5' in diameter, 2' to 6' deep and weighing over several hundred pounds. Add to that where they like to build their nests and you have a formula for disaster - at least in some cases.
The Osprey is protected by the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty Act, consequently, when an Osprey nest becomes a problem, the options to solve that problem are somewhat limited.
Fortunately, nests can be removed when the proper permits are in place - as long as you build and provide a nest of comparable or better quality close by. Something that not just anybody can do.
If you have an osprey problem and are considering building a nest in a better location close by, you'll want to hire an expert to make sure it is done right - everything is done within the legal requirements, the nest is safely supported, and where the osprey will be happy.
Building An Osprey Nest
There is a lot involved when it comes to building an osprey nest, the builder needs to have the proper permits in place, be experienced with construction, be knowledgeable regarding osprey nesting habits, be aware of the regulations surrounding relocation, know the requirements and understand what works best for the osprey in general.
Platform With Side Perch
We've been working with raptors for many years and are highly experienced when it comes to building nests and relocating birds within legal guidelines. Nest relocation that makes everyone happy - property owners, conservationists and the birds too - is what we strive for. Nest building to relocate birds from problem areas with the least stress possible goes hand in hand with the humane methods we use.
Nest Construction Styles & Requirements
There are several different kinds of osprey nest construction styles.
Some construction elements always need to be in place. This includes multiple drainage holes to prevent flooding in heavy rain, predator guards for land platforms, and a perch pole. There are also minimum size, construction and weight support requirements.
In Florida, a strong, plastic dish with drain holes and strong supports is frequently used. Others styles like the one shown above utilize a square pallet type construction, complete with a side perch for the birds. V platforms are also a popular choice for osprey nest construction in many areas across the country. As shown immediately below, these consist of a square platform nestled in the crook of a V.
The V gives the osprey a place to sit where it can look out for predators and a place to escape raucous chicks without being very far away. Another advantage to the V platform is that it is less likely to emulate a telephone pole. Most wildlife management professionals want to discourage osprey from thinking of telephone poles as a place to nest and a V platform is a step in the right direction to that regard.
Whatever style you choose, we always recommend using only highly qualified wildlife control professionals who know how to build an osprey nest the right way and within the legal guidelines.
If you are in Southwest Florida, give us call, we would love to help.
1242 SW Pine Island Rd., Suite 310
Cape Coral, FL 33991-2126