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Osprey platforms being replaced in time for nesting season

By Staff | Oct 23, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED From left, Jim Columbo, Angel Almazan, Susan Tucker, Nelson Maradiaga and Bob Tucker.

Volunteers with The International Osprey Foundation recently began the task of repairing osprey platforms on the islands in preparation for another nesting season beginning in January.

President Susan Tucker gained help from Carlos Hernandez, with the Tree Trimming Doctor, and his crew to set the new platforms high on top of the poles. Member Jim Columbo made the 40-inch square platforms with metal mesh bottoms, which are designed to hold the nests in place. He is using TIOF’s instructions for building the platforms, available at ospreys.com, and has made at least 15 new ones.

“We now sign them on the side of the platform with our TIOF name, the year we installed it and Jim’s signature,” Tucker said. “It is a really nice way to advertise our organization and acknowledge the person who built it.”

Last month, Hernandez and his crew, along with Columbo, Tucker and her husband, Bob Tucker, replaced platforms on Woodring Road, Venus Drive, Marthas Lane and Bay Drive. They also added a predator guard on the second platform at the Woodring site. Hernandez provided his lift bucket to set the heavy platforms in place.

“The four platforms were in very poor condition and it was important to get them replaced and ready before nesting season,” Tucker said. “It would have been unsafe for a nesting pair to use them this season.”

PHOTO PROVIDED Jim Columbo with two new platforms he built.

TIOF thanked Hernandez for his assistance and Columbo for his contribution.

Platform repair is an ongoing task, according to Tucker. There are at least eight more platforms that require maintenance.

For platforms needing maintenance, contact Tucker at tiof@outlook.com.

PHOTO PROVIDED Carlos Hernandez donated labor and equipment for the repairs.