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Osprey nest relocated at Point Samson

An osprey chick being held by a wildlife carer during the relocation
An osprey chick being held by a wildlife carer during the relocation Ty Matson, DPaW

An osprey nest with chicks has been successfully relocated from a moored barge to a specially-constructed nesting platform at Point Samson boat harbour in the Pilbara.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) provided advice and licensing to marine infrastructure business Marine & Civil to carry out the relocation last week.

Earlier this month the company discovered an osprey nest with two chicks on the moveable support legs of a barge and sought permission from the Department of Transport to erect a metal nesting platform at the boat harbour.

In a carefully-planned 45-minute operation conducted with the assistance of Pilbara Wildlife Carers, the chicks were removed from the nest while it was taken from the barge on a tarpaulin and placed on the elevated platform.

The parent ospreys returned about 20 minutes after the chicks had been returned to the nest.

DPaW wildlife officer Ty Matson said the relocation highlighted the need to be aware of ospreys building nests on infrastructure and to discourage them if possible.

“As part of their inspection and maintenance programs, the department encourages coastal businesses to deter birds from building nests, or, if one is discovered, speak to DPaW about removing it before eggs are laid,” Mr Matson said.

“If the birds are persistent then an alternative nest platform close by could be considered. Obstructions can also be erected to prevent nesting on important infrastructure.

“DPaW is aware of six osprey nest incidents that have impacted industry in various parts of the State throughout the last 12 months.

“The department would like companies to be aware of the issue and if necessary, approach DPaW for advice.

“It takes about 10 weeks for chicks to fledge and leave the nest and it is quite problematic to carry out a relocation while they are very young.”

Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) are fish-eating birds of prey which nest near bodies of water that provide an adequate food supply. Their preferred nesting sites are rocky outcrops, islands and raised platforms away from potential predators.

For more information and advice about nesting ospreys on commercial properties contact DPaW’s Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

Media contact: DPaW Media 9219 9999

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Twitter: @WAPARKSWILDLIFE

Last modified on Tuesday, 06 August 2013 09:31