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Return of the Ospreys

Volunteers needed to help install new nesting platforms or help repair existing nesting platforms


Volunteers with Save Coastal Wildlife, a wildlife conservation nonprofit, installed an osprey platform near Matawan Creek, NJ on Saturday morning, March 30, 2019

We need your hep! Please help us install new nesting platforms for ospreys.
 
In years past, volunteers with Save Coastal Wildlife and other organizations have helped to install nesting platforms in Keyport, Union Beach, Aberdeen Township, and in Middletown Township. Many of these sites are occupied each year by nesting ospreys.

But we need more! There are often more ospreys then there are nesting platforms!

Due to poorly planned coastal development and sea level rise, there is a shortage of suitable nesting sites for ospreys along the coast. Fortunately for the ospreys, there always seems to be a group of volunteers willing to help install new nesting platforms. It just has to be done quickly, before the birds return from their winter habitat sometime in March or early April.

The platforms are placed in the middle of wetlands before ospreys return to nest. They are monitored throughout the spring and summer seasons for overall nesting success.

Platforms have been widely successful in attracting nesting ospreys in coastal locations along Raritan Bay and Sandy Hook Bay, NJ.

This project has two goals:

1) to foster a self-sustaining osprey population within Raritan Bay, Sandy Hook Bay and nearby tidal waters along the northern Jersey Shore, and

2) develop a comprehensive educational program for the public to better understand local ecology and get involved in conservation issues.

Putting up new nesting platforms will help provide habitat for Ospreys and to help keep these fish hawks from nesting on dangerous power lines, which can kill the birds, or other dangerous areas. Nesting platforms will also provide local residents, especially children, a chance to view and get to know local wildlife up close.

Ospreys act as indicator species, as a sign of the health of a bay or estuary. Water quality is generally improving when you have many adult ospreys nesting and successfully raising two or three young. 

The over-use of a pesticide called DDT caused the osprey population to crash in the 1950s and 1960s along the Jersey Shore. Ever since the pesticide was banned from being used throughout the United States in 1972, the bird has been making a comeback. 

The return of ospreys to our coastline is one of the greatest conservation stories of the last 40 years. But now we need your help to provide nesting platforms for ospreys as large-scale coastal development and sea level rise has wiped away nearly all dead trees along the coast, their natural location to construct a nest. Although ospreys continue to favor dead trees or trees with flat or dead tops to make a nest, few can be found nowadays along the coast.

 
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We need your help!

Nesting platforms are critical for increasing the population of ospreys along the coast.