Wings of Wonder! Epic Rescue of an Osprey

It’s not every day you get to help a friend move house, especially those of the winged kind..

We got the call early one morning a few weeks back that our local Osprey was in desperate need of a new home. The eagle mum had set up a nest delicately balanced on top of a light pole in the center of town in Brunswick Heads.

A simple storm could easily have blown this dubious burrow off and on to the road beneath.

Byron Bay Tree Services Delicately transfer the Osprey to a New Home

Byron Bay Tree Services undertook the delicate task to transfer the threatened “Osprey” species nest from the light pole over to a safer purpose built nesting platform 21m high.

The operation was a success but it didn’t go without a hitch, think Murphy law.. what could go wrong will go wrong.

The winds picked up, just in our window of opportunity which made the task all that more nail biting.. but we managed to get there in the end.

It was an epic effort for all involved, including our new Osprey friend who’s happy with her new home. Special thanks goes out to Dan, Troy and the BBTS team who did a fantastic job with a safe transfer in a difficult situation.

Fun Facts

Did you know that Ospreys (also called Sea Hawks) can reach more than 60 cm in length and 180 cm across its wings.

Image of an Osprey courtesy of © Kris Perlberg | Macaulay Library

They’re brown above and white below and tend to be whiter than most other raptors.

The head is white and has a broad brown stripe through the eyes. They also prefer to nest in locations close to a body of water, hence why you’ll see them near the beach.

We’re glad we got to help this extraordinary bird move to a new home. Just another day in the office for Byron Bay Tree Services.

Update 10 May 2019 

Want to know the latest story behind this new nesting?

Read on below:

As habitat for raptors shrinks on a daily basis, two local birds have found a nest to call home in Brunswick Heads.

A pair of Eastern Osprey has a new home thanks to some quick action by Byron Shire Council staff.

The osprey pair, who mate for life, built a nest on top of the sports fields lights (25m high) at Lofts Oval last spring.

Council’s Technical Officer, Open Space and Reserves, Andy Erskine said that osprey nests are built with sticks and they are quite heavy. ‘There was the potential for the nest to break the lights and the pole and the heat from the lights could cook the eggs,’ he said.

Eastern Osprey are large, water dependent birds of prey with a wingspan of up to 1.7m and are classified as vulnerable in NSW.

‘It’s a real treat to have these birds nest locally and because they return to the same nest every year we felt we could play a small role in the helping this pair expand their family and therefore contribute to the ongoing survival of this species,’ said Mr Erskine.

Checking out the new digs. The osprey pair gave a feather up to their man-made home. Photo David Charley.

‘Because Osprey only use their nests for several months a year, we decided the best option would be to build a nest platform close to the light pole before they returned to breed and we engaged a raptor expert to work with council on developing a plan to relocate the nest,’ he said.

A local engineering firm was commissioned to build a new platform and that was attached to a 21m pole and when this was in position council’s tree contractors (Byron Bay Tree Services) moved the nest.

‘They also attached deterrent devices on all the nearby lights so the osprey would have little choice but to use their new nest,’ said Mr Erskine.

‘The osprey returned recently and were spotted circling high in the sky but didn’t come near the nest and a new stick had been placed back on the light pole so we were getting very nervous.

‘Finally they discovered the new nest and have been seen sitting in it and rebuilding it in preparation to lay eggs and raise their young,’ he said.

A number of people have volunteered to be observers and report back on the activities of the osprey and council is looking forward to the happy arrival of some new feathered residents.

Update by The Echo