Conserve Wildlife Blog

Osprey nest needs urgent repairs

March 6th, 2014

A productive nest on the Navesink River needs a helping hand!

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

UPDATE: We have learned that the pole has been straightened!! Thank you all for the support!!!

Many North American ospreys have already departed from their wintering grounds in Central America, N. South America, and the Caribbean and are on migration to their summer breeding grounds. In New Jersey, most ospreys nest along the Atlantic Coast, from Sandy Hook to Cape May and arrive in mid-late March. One nest (083-A-007) is on a decommissioned channel marker (#21) on the Navesink River, off Fair Haven. The nest was first found in 2006 and in 2013 the nesting pair successfully produced three young. Considering the current condition of the nest pole, they were really lucky to produce any young at all!

083-A-007 on the Navesink needs some TLC!

083-A-007 on the Navesink needs some TLC!

This platform was one of many that sustained damage by Superstorm Sandy. We pledged to repair any and all platforms that were reported as damaged by the Storm and did; however, we don’t have the equipment or boats to repair a leaning platform in open water, like 083-A-007. Since it was damaged we have been contacted by many concerned citizens who watch the pair that nests here. We’re sharing this story to help garner support to repair the nest pole.

Ospreys mate for life and return to the same nest site, year after year.  They will build their nest at an angle to compensate for the lean, but young are still in jeopardy of falling out of it. Our goal is to get it fixed before the pole falls over. Lastly, this is an important nest site in the region. There is very little preserved open space in this region of Monmouth County and very few osprey nests.

We need your help!

Ospreys return to their nesting grounds in mid-late March in New Jersey. © Howie Williams

Ospreys return to their nesting grounds in mid-late March in New Jersey. © Howie Williams

Last year we tried reaching out to local marine construction and bulkheading companies but had no luck getting anyone to even return our calls. Then we contacted the Bureau of Coastal Engineering’s Aids to Navigation and they did not have equipment in the area to make the needed repairs last fall (we’ve since called them again to get their assistance and are waiting to hear back).

Do you know any local bulkheading or marine construction companies who work in the Fair Haven/Rumson area? If you do, please see if they can provide some assistance so this pair of ospreys have a safe place to nest!

Contact us if you know anyone who can help:

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11 Responses to “Osprey nest needs urgent repairs”

  1. Steve says:

    Greetings, Ideally you’d get a marine construction company to come out and re-set the pole and build a new platform, that would cost about 6 to 8 thousand in charter hire, labor and fuel, but I don’t think you need to do that, rather, just put a new platform on the pole which is now tilted and likely going to stay that way until the next Super Storm blows by.

  2. Ben says:

    Thanks for the input, Steve. Ideally we’d like to find a company that is willing to donate their time to help restore this osprey nest site. I already considered cutting the top off, parallel with the water, and attaching a new top on the pole. I do not have a barge to work from to conduct such work.

  3. George says:

    The channel marker is 21 not 27 Green is always even numbers red is odd. As i recall this marker was first damaged by a boat at night then was damaged by Irene then sandy.

  4. Ben says:

    Thanks for clearing that up. It was found via a helicopter survey back in 2006, so I guess when they were flying by they didn’t read the numbers correctly. Sounds like this nest has gotten it’s fair share of damage!

  5. Tom says:

    If you must do something you could climb the ladder and install a board to make a V shaped cradle at the top.

  6. JP says:

    Don’t we have more important things to spend our time and money on? Are you telling me an osprey which lives in the wild and doesn’t depend on government cant find another place to make it’s home? Lets be serious people.

  7. Brian Rice says:


    We (Rice Associates) will take care of the piling (083-A-007)

  8. Steve says:

    I’ll be putting Rice Associates on my thank you list.

  9. Ben says:

    Thanks Brian. I gave you a call as well. Since the structure is federal property I’m working on getting in touch the USCG ANT to determine if a private contractor repair such structure or if they can fix it… I’ll be in touch!

  10. Brian says:

    the pole is straight again

  11. Brian says:

    also George the channel markers are green(odd) hence 21 and red (even)