We have started a new project to build Osprey nesting platforms on Johns Island.   The intent of the program is two-fold: (1) encourage and provide for our Osprey population, and (2) provide educational opportunities throughout our community.   Though there are plenty of places on Johns Island that provide suitable locations for Osprey nests, the most desirable would be those that allow for binocular observation from a non-invasive distance.   Osprey nests also need to be built close to water as ospreys have a preference for fish.   While natural sites would be preferable, they must be of particular configuration for a nesting pair to be attracted.   In addition, these sites can often be fragile and easily destroyed by forces of nature and time.   To assure success for the Osprey nesting project and similar wildlife programs, the Conservancy is forming a group of interested individuals, groups and businesses that share our interest in preserving the wildlife and habitat of Johns Island. The volunteer partners we are seeking will require various skills and levels of commitment: interest in developing a knowledge base of the wildlife involved, ownership or custodianship of suitable sites for erecting nesting platforms, construction of nesting platforms and funding assistance.   The Berkeley Electric Co-op (BEC) has already signed on to help erect the poles which the nests are built on.  

Installing an Osprey nesting platform in Connecticut

The Johns Island Conservancy will be visiting various sites on Johns Island and hope to eventually have 3-7 installations.   Success at each location is not guaranteed.   For those sites that do succeed, we will commission educational signs to be placed at appropriate observation points  

Osprey nesting platform in Ohio

For each site, once all approvals are received, the Conservancy along with the property owner will manage the installation.   BEC will donate a recycled, environmentally approved pole, if available at the time, or the Conservancy will purchase a new “green” pole.  The Conservancy and site volunteers will construct the actual platforms prior to the installation.   BEC will then erect the pole at no charge as a contribution to the community.   There are many possible designs for the pole/platform structure.   Part of the first pilot installation will be to evaluate these designs and select one to be used for all the sites.   If you have a suitable property for an Osprey nesting platform or know of a property owners association or business that would like to sponsor one, please contact our project manager, Guy Leonard, by email.   For an update on the project, see our post “Osprey Platforms Installed”
For more information about Ospreys in South Carolina, visit the DNR site. See our post “A Johns Island Osprey Story”. Read about 40 year project to monitor and protect Osprey’s on Martha’s Vineyard.