Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘platform’

Giving Absecon’s ospreys a boost

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016
Volunteers brave rain and high water to benefit ospreys!

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

 

Volunteers work on a flooded saltmash to remove an osprey nesting platform in Atlantic City.

Volunteers work on a flooded saltmarsh to remove an osprey nesting platform in Atlantic City.

I’ve been surveying osprey colony on Absecon Bay since 2008, after I moved to the local area. It’s been an area with a small but slowly growing colony. In 2008 there were a total of 11 active nests. This year there were 23 active nests. Productivity has been good with an average of 1.72 young/active (known-outcome) nest over the past nine years (more than double what’s needed to sustain the population). Many of the nests in this area were installed in 2005 for mitigation for nests that were removed when the ACUA installed large wind turbines off Route 30. But, some platforms that were placed near the turbines, have been slowly abandoned by ospreys. This year only one nest was occupied there and it did not produce any young.  (more…)

Photo from the Field

Monday, September 15th, 2014
A new osprey platform is installed inside Sedge Island WMA. It replaces an antiquated design that is prone to predation by raccoons. This new 1-post platform will give ospreys their best chance at successfully raising young.

A new osprey platform is installed inside Sedge Island WMA. It replaces an antiquated design that is prone to predation by raccoons. This new 1-post platform will give ospreys their best chance at successfully raising young. © Ben Wurst

A break in the weather

Friday, February 21st, 2014
Great Bay Blvd. Osprey Platform Install

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

We took advantage of the break in cold/wet weather along the southeast coast of New Jersey and installed a new nesting platform for ospreys this week. The new platform was installed for a pair that previously nested on sensitive equipment used by the Rutgers University Marine Field Station on Great Bay Blvd. in Little Egg Harbor. The equipment was located on a short cluster of pilings near the boardwalk to the Station. It failed to produce young in 2013. More than likely it was predated by raccoon, the main ground predator of osprey young.

A large number of volunteers showed up to help out. The actual install was quite easy considering it could be accessed by the land via Great Bay Blvd. The platform was placed along a tidal creek so that biologists can easily access the nest for future surveys. Rutgers staff will install deterrents on the old nest so birds can’t nest there when they return in late March. You can see the location of the nest on Osprey Watch or drive out on GBB to see it in person.

Thank you to all the volunteers who came out to help!

 

Large turnout expected for osprey platform build day

Thursday, January 17th, 2013
Conserve Wildlife to repair or replace any platforms lost from Sandy

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

Osprey pair in nest platform repaired by CWF staff in early 2012. © Brian Kushner

Osprey pair in nest platform repaired by CWF staff in early 2012. © Brian Kushner

On Saturday, January 19, Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ (CWF) will host an osprey platform construction day from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at Tuckahoe Wildlife Management Area in Woodbine, New Jersey. Volunteers who signed up in advance are helping to build up to 20 new platforms to replace those lost or damaged in Superstorm Sandy.

Constructing these platforms now will allow CWF time to install them before the start of the osprey nesting season in April. Ospreys mate for life and typically return to the same nest year after year.

Since Sandy slammed into the coast of New Jersey in late October, biologists with CWF have been actively surveying and assessing damage to habitat that wildlife needs to survive. Many osprey nesting platforms were right in the middle of the high winds and strong storm surge associated with Sandy. The majority of the platforms weathered the storm; others need repairs or must be replaced. We have already installed 5 new nesting platforms. Two platforms were installed on December 1st on Herring Island (N. Barnegat Bay) in an area of homes that sustained significant damage. The other three platforms were installed in the Wildwood area.

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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