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TIOF partners up to install platforms beyond islands

By Staff | Mar 6, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED The International Osprey Foundation President Susan Tucker with Ned Bruha.

Ned Bruha, The Wildlife Whisperer, has teamed up with The International Osprey Foundation on Sanibel to help with installing nesting platforms outside of the islands.

In January, he put up a nest box on a golf course in Auburndale, located near Tampa, for Joni Moyer. She said ospreys have frequented the area near her home, but their nesting platform had been damaged beyond repair over the years.

Moyer researched and found Bruha, who contacted TIOF President Susan Tucker. Tucker arranged for Bruha to pick up a nesting platform, made by island resident and volunteer Jim Columbo, for a $225 donation. Moyer then worked out a plan with Bruha.

“In the past two weeks we have noticed a new nesting pair starting to build a nest,” Moyer said. “I have always enjoyed watching the osprey nest and have had babies since we moved in 12 years ago and when it was destroyed I asked management to replace it. I didn’t get the answer I wanted so I asked my husband to gift me a nesting box for Christmas.”

“Management here in the park was getting the palms trimmed anyway, so they provided the lift and Ned came and put the nesting box we provided,” she added. “Now we will have osprey babies for many years.”

Bruha, who specializes in humane animal control, was known as The Skunk Whisperer in Oklahoma. He said he recently moved to Florida because of the state’s unique wildlife situation.

“Florida is more in need of ways to co-exist utilizing cost-effective, humane wildlife control methods than perhaps anywhere else in the U.S.,” Bruha said.

He has picked up three nesting platforms from TIOF.

“He installed one already in Tampa and will be installing the other two,” Tucker said. “He has the equipment to install poles, so we were thrilled to partner with Ned to continue installing our platforms in other areas.”

She described the partnership as an excellent opportunity for TIOF to continue its mission of preserving osprey beyond Sanibel and Captiva.

“We use those donations to help pay for the materials needed to build future platforms,” Tucker said.