Conserve Wildlife Foundation Seeks Volunteers to Help Repair Osprey Platforms

Sep 14, 2016
File Photo by: Ryan Morrill

A Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey biologist is seeking volunteers from within the Barnegat Bay watershed to assist with repairs of osprey platforms next month. Tasks include adding new stainless screws to existing platforms, installing predator guards and perches, and cleaning off excess nesting material. In addition, a few platforms may need to be moved or replaced.

“These platforms protect (osprey) nests from predators and flood tides, but over time the extreme salt marsh environment takes its toll on them,” explained Ben Wurst, CWF habitat program manager. “The added weight of the large, perennial stick nests can shorten the life span of a properly built platform drastically.

“Over the years I’ve seen older nests topple from the weight of the nesting material and aging hardware in the middle of the nesting season during severe storms. This is hard to prevent at every nest, during every storm, which we know are becoming more and more frequent, but we are adapting and, in turn, helping our ospreys become more resilient (and productive) in the end.”

This fall, Wurst added, “we are hopeful to meet some local baymen and fishermen who are looking to help keep the nesting population stable, as it has been over the past 10 years.”

In addition to the Barnegat Bay watershed – Point Pleasant south to Little Egg Harbor Township – work will be carried out in the Great Bay, Absecon Bay, Sea Isle and Wildwood/Cape May watersheds.

To be notified of upcoming platform construction and repairs, which will most likely take place in mid- to late October, email Wurst at Wurst would also be grateful for any volunteers who could lend a boat or ladder. —J.K.-H.

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