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Ospreys given new homes in Green Lake

posted Feb 27, 2012, 11:01 AM by Thomas Eddy   [ updated Mar 19, 2012, 8:58 AM ]
Ospreys given new homes in Green Lake
Osprey flying over Green Lake

Osprey flying over Green Lake

by Tom Schultz


The Green Team raised two new nesting poles and platforms in the Green Lake area this month as potential nesting sites for ospreys.

Also known also as “fish hawks,” ospreys have 5 to 6-foot wingspans, and are related to hawks and eagles.

They feed by plunging-diving into lakes to take small to medium-sized fish with their strong talons. Ospreys are migratory birds that spend the winter along the Gulf of Mexico and in Central America.

The birds typically return to Wisconsin by late April or during the month of May, and soon begin their search for suitable nesting sites.

Nesting usually takes place from May into July.

The nesting platforms were built by volunteers with many of the materials provided by Caldwell Lumber of Columbus.

Alliant Energy provided the equipment, manpower and poles to attach the platforms to, and raised the poles into place.

Both of the nest-platform sites on this occasion were located in marshes, so Alliant placed the poles in steel culverts that were filled with gravel for added stability. One site was in the cattail marsh on the east side of County Road A and adjacent to the Silver Creek Inlet — across from the Green Lake Sailing School. This location can easily be observed from Sunset Park.

The other site is the Norwegian Bay Wetlands Conservancy, inland about 25 feet from the shoreline of Norwegian Bay.

This platform can be observed from the conservancy boardwalk or from along Bay Road. Two other local sites had osprey poles raised last year, including one at the back of the Green Lake ballpark, and the other along the marsh off County Road K, to the southwest of the bridge near the county park.

It is hoped that a webcam might be installed on one or more of these sites at some point in the future, so viewers can get a close-up look at the nesting activities of the ospreys.

For more information, contact the Green Lake Conservancy (www.greenlakeconservancy.org), the Green Lake Association (www.greenlakeassociation.com), or the Green Lake Sanitary District (glakesd.com).