Drones inhibit osprey

Article image - Drones inhibit osprey An adult Osprey at the artificial nest at Cudgen Creek at Kingscliff

Starting a family is not always easy for Osprey living in the Tweed, New South Wales.

Birdlife Northern Rivers’ Tweed Osprey Group volunteers monitor the breeding success of local Ospreys annually and they have found that pairs generally attempt to breed each year but are not always successful.

Problems faced by breeding pairs include extreme weather, damage to nests, predation of eggs and chicks by other birds, entanglement in fishing line – and drones.

Council’s Threatened Species Project Officer Tanya Fountain said a drone may be perceived as a possible predator by an Osprey.

“If a parent bird is preoccupied with defending their nest from a drone, it could result in neglect of vulnerable eggs and chicks, reducing breeding success. Birds that attack drones could also be injured by moving blades.”

“Responsible use of drones can go a long way to minimising any negative impacts to nesting Ospreys.”

Recreational drone users should always keep their vehicles away from wildlife and obey the Civil Aviation Safety Authorities recreational drone safety rules. Recreational drone users are also reminded that the Osprey is listed as a threatened species under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act. Under this Act it is an offence to harm or attempt to harm a threatened species.