Osprey Nesting

Even for an osprey, looking for a new home can be all about location.

In July 2015, a resident reported sightings of an osprey trying to establish a nest on a construction crane being used at a bridge expansion project.

The height of the crane was appealing to the osprey, but, of course, the construction crew was less than pleased. The state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the construction company began looking for a new home for the osprey and contacted Domtar about possibly trying to place a platform on mill property.

The original nesting site chosen by Wisconsin DNR was Rothschild’s Wood Yard, but because of all the activity in the area, Domtar decided that this was not a safe location for a nesting platform. The goal was to find a location close enough to the crane so the birds would find the nest when they return in spring, so Domtar recommended a nesting pole on Domtar property on the west side of the Wisconsin River. This was close enough to the crane, but in a more remote area.

In September representatives from DNR and the Rothschild Mill looked together to determine the best location. After a site was approved by the DNR, a Shore-line-Wetland Zoning Permit was obtained from the Village of Rothschild to cut three trees on Domtar property along the shoreline. The wood was donated to a local Boy Scout Troop to be cut and sold as firewood as a fundraiser for the troop.

With the nest site ready, it was time to put up the platform. A 56-foot utility pole was donated by Wisconsin Public Service and delivered to the site. Quest Engineering, with the guidance from the DNR, constructed the nest platform.

Through generous efforts by many people, the new platform will provide a suitable home for the young nesting pair as well as enable the highway crew to safely finish phase 2 of the bridge work in a timely manner come springtime. n

– Becky Coushman