Osprey nest atop light post creates challenge for city

Osprey nest atop light post creates challenge for city

ALBANY, Ore. - A pair of osprey built a nest and laid eggs in a nest atop a 60-foot light pole at softball fields used by thousands of people each week.

"Being on a light pole is not optimal," said Bruce Edwards with Albany Parks and Recreation said, "and shutting the light down for the softball players is not optimal either."

About 2,000 softball players use the field at Bryant Park each week. Turning off the lights became a liability, so the city consulted a wildlife expert and applied for a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service to relocate the next.

"We will be moving the nest directly above the lights," Edwards said. "We had a osprey nest platform built that will suspend the nest two to three feet above the lights."

The birds, which mate for life and take turns hunting and caring for the eggs, have added some curiousity to the city park.

As the birds hunt and build their home, some unusual debris falls on the ground - and the osprey often return to the nest with prey in tow.

"The most interesting thing we have seen lately was a snake from 60 feet down below that looked like it was two to three feet long," Edwards said. "I am assuming a bull snake or something of that nature. We have seen fish come in. Large fish."

Once the platform is in place, the osprey will have a safe nesting place for years to come, he said.

Anyone with questions about the project is asked to visit http://www.albanyparksandrecreation.org/sports.