Four osprey platforms, originally built more than a decade ago, were replaced this year in the North Marsh Conservation Area. The platforms, located behind the north end of Figure Eight Island, were in disrepair and no longer suitable for Osprey nesting. This replacement project, implemented by ANDY WOOD & ASSOCIATES, LLC, with construction logistics provided by GULFSTREAM BUILDERS, INC., required and received approval from State and Federal wildlife agencies before work began in early March 2014.
Ospreys are migratory fish-eating birds that overwinter in southern regions of North America, and Central and South America. Ospreys migrate northward in early spring to reach breeding grounds throughout much of North America. Pictured above is restored Platform 2, with a defensive parent in attendance. The platform was selected by a male Osprey in late April. Soon after, he and his mate completed a stick nest that fledged at least one young bird this summer. Summer surveys revealed platform 3 had two sticks, but platforms 1 and 4 remained clean. Maybe 2015 will see higher occupancy, but in the meantime, all the platforms are popular with many fish-eating birds, including colorful Belted Kingfishers that use the high perches to spy fishy prey in the surrounding marsh.