Summit County osprey perch replaced with cherrypicker’s help
On Friday, Oct. 31, the town of Silverthorne successfully replaced the osprey nest that has attracted birders for decades.
Much of the nest was blown off its perch high atop a pole at the Raven Golf Club at Three Peaks during a snowstorm Oct. 12.
About 15 years ago, some locals loved the birds of prey so much that when the utility pole home to their nest was removed, they had a lookalike pole installed and moved the nest on top. The group secured the nest to a wooden platform, and over the years the ospreys added to the nest until it was 4 or 5 feet high.
After the nest was disturbed early last month, nearby residents worried the ospreys wouldn’t return to it in the spring and contacted Summit County’s Colorado Parks and Wildlife district wildlife managers.
Silverthorne Public Works director Bill Linfield, Parks and Wildlife, and John Taylor, with the Eagles Nest Property Homeowners Association, collaborated to replace the man-made part of the nest and its base, which they installed Friday.
Public Works employees Rick Farrell, Ryan Harper and Brett Bowles used a cherrypicker donated by Wagner Rents to repair the nest, which is almost 60 feet above the ground. Linfield was there to take photos of the restored nest.
The town hopes at some point in the future to add a live web cam overlooking the nest.
Osprey populations worldwide declined significantly in recent decades because of widespread use of the pesticide DDT. In 1983, only about 8,000 breeding pairs spent their summers in the U.S. A ban on DDT has led to a rebound, and by 2001 the U.S. population was estimated at 16,000 to 19,000 breeding pairs.
Now the biggest threats to North American ospreys are habitat loss due to human development and conflicts with fish farmers in Latin America.
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