Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘nest platform’

Video from the Field: Osprey Platform Install

Thursday, November 15th, 2018
Ensuring Osprey Platforms Remain Resilient

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

On a brisk November morning, a couple dedicated NJ Osprey Project volunteers joined myself and CWF Biologist Larissa Smith to install an osprey platform on the coastal saltmarsh of New Jersey. The new platform was installed to replace a very old and unstable platform that fell this summer. The new structure is more than twice the size of the old one and will give the nesting pair, who return in the spring, a much more resilient nest site. As you can see from the video above, it takes a bit of strength to raise up a 16′ tall wood nest platform. We decided to slow it down when WCC Volunteer, Wayne R. gives it a final push. (more…)

Edwin B. Forsythe NWR Osprey Banding

Thursday, June 26th, 2014
Three nestlings produced at the Osprey Cam nest are banded for future tracking!

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

In the late afternoon of June 24, 2014, I kicked off the 2014 Osprey Nesting Surveys by banding the three nestings at the Osprey Cam nest. I was joined by Ann Marie Mason Morrison, with Friends of Forsythe NWR, our founding partner with the Osprey Cam, and two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service interns, Jessie and Kirsten who helped bring out all the equipment needed to the nest (two 20′ ladders).

This is one of the most difficult nests to reach in all of New Jersey! It either takes a boat (at high tide) or two 20′ ladders (at low tide) to cross a 15′ wide ditch on the coastal salt marsh. Anyone who has crossed the ditch can attest to how difficult it is. Now you can watch and see what when into banding these three nestlings. A portion of the video was cut when I was attempting to repair the sound at the camera equipment box. At the same time the nest was cleaned of harmful plastic debris that the birds used as nesting material. A total of 3 balloons and a plastic bag were removed from the nest. The three young were banded with USGS bird bands (1088-04358,59 & 60) for future tracking. Check out a photo that I got of “the runt.” Enjoy!

Photo(s) from the field

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
Volunteers help to “re-plant” leaning osprey platform

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

This past week I was joined by a large group of volunteers to remove and re-plant a leaning osprey tower in Point Pleasant. It all began after Superstorm Sandy barreled through the area a little over a year ago…

This nest, along with many others, were uprooted from where they were originally installed. Many homes in the area were flooded by the storm surge associated with the storm (and many were still rebuilding when we were there). Any and all debris that was created ended up being pushed to the high areas of the marsh and in turn, people’s yards. This platform ended up in a homeowners backyard. Fortunately the platform was not lost and was thankfully re-installed by a bulkheading company who was working on the homeowners house. This was great news for the ospreys! Their nest had been returned to the saltmarsh and was, in turn, used again by them this past summer. They raised one nestling on the platform.

Things a-drift…a strong Nor’easter ended up pushing over the platform, which caused it to lean…significantly. However, the ospreys adapted and added nesting material to make sure their only nestling would not fall out. At the same time we made plans to re-plant the platform in a section of marsh with more soil, so the platform would have a firm foundation and support. A crew of strong and able volunteers met up with me to help fix the problem. They pulled out the platform and then we transported it to the new location. There we dug a new hole (around 2-3′ deep) and they easily dropped the short (around 12′ high) platform into the hole. These volunteers did a great job, and I was happy to see that many of them lived in the local area. It’s great to see locals getting involved in their local environment and I know that they’ll continue to watch over the nest if anything should happen to it in the future. I’m planning on working with the local community association (who owns the land) to install a couple more platforms for ospreys. There’s little suitable nesting habitat for ospreys up on N. Barnegat Bay and in the past we’ve had problems with birds nesting on houses, so this will only help reduce those occurrences.

Not exactly stable...

Not exactly stable…

Not much dry land either...

Not much dry land either…

Down she goes...

Down she goes…

All better!

All better!

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