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Herring Island Osprey Platform Install

Monday, December 17th, 2012
Helping wildlife affected by Sandy

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

An old duck blind that once held an osprey nest.

An old duck blind that once held an osprey nest.

Since Sandy slammed into the coast of New Jersey we have been actively surveying damage to habitat that wildlife need to survive. Ospreys are currently on their wintering grounds in N. South America but their many nesting platforms were right in the middle of the high winds and strong storm surge from Sandy. For the most part, the majority of the platforms weathered the storm. Some of the old, small, and weak platforms were carried away with the surge (like this old duck blind on Herring Island on N. Barnegat Bay).

Ospreys mate for life and have a high level of site fidelity, so the nesting pair (if they survive the wintering season) will return to the same nest, and do so year after year. For the platforms that were occupied and washed away, we aren’t sitting around waiting for issues to arise when ospreys return to their nest sites next March. Since Sandy hit on October 29th we have already installed 5 new nesting platforms. Two platforms were installed on December 1st on Herring Island, which is right in the middle of the area where Sandy had devastating effects on the shoreline. The platforms were built before the storm by Point Pleasant resident Tom Vannostrand. The new platforms were installed to replace an old duck blind that was damaged late last year (possibly from Irene) and washed away by Sandy. When the pair of ospreys returned to nest on the blind this year they found that their nesting structure was damaged and attempted to build a nest on a nearby home. Long story short, the homeowners weren’t so happy and had the nest removed by USDA.

You can help us build and replace other platforms damaged by Sandy. On January 19th, from 10-3pm we are hosting a volunteer build day to construct 20 nesting platforms.


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