The new artificial osprey nest near the McFarlane Bridge.
The new artificial osprey nest near the McFarlane Bridge.

Ospreys settle into new nest

THE RTA has successfully moved a nest of ospreys from the McFarlane Bridge at Maclean in time for the breeding season.

An RTA spokesman said an artificial osprey nest was installed on McFarlane Bridge in 2008 to discourage ospreys from nesting on dangerous parts of the bridge.

The artificial nest has been a success, with ospreys raising chicks from the nest each breeding season since it was installed.

“Strengthening and maintenance work is being carried out on the bridge, which required the ospreys to be moved for their safety,” the spokesman said.

“The relocation was carried out now before the osprey breeding season begins.

“The artificial nest was relocated early this morning to a pole on the southern bank of Woodford Island, about 150m east of the bridge.”

Lawrence Orel from the Department of Conservation and Climate Change said the move to create artificial nesting sites for osprey was a major reason for the resurgence of the species in the past decade.

“In the latter part of last century osprey numbers were in serious decline,” he said.

“The strategy of creating artificial nesting poles is one of the reasons their numbers have recovered.”

Mr Orel said the osprey had specific needs when it came to nesting sites.

“The osprey is totally dependent on fish in their diets,” he said.

“Their nests must overlook water, so they usually built them in tall, dead trees next to bodies of water.

“Unfortunately humans also like to live next to water so osprey started to build their nests in human structures like power poles and the McFarlane Bridge.”



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