Coffs takes action to save osprey nest

Coffs Harbour City Council has worked with Country Energy and Telstra to relocate a pair of young ospreys that established their nest on a floodlight last year.

The osprey, sometimes known as the sea hawk, is a fish eating bird of prey that can reach up to 60 centimetres in length, with a 1.8 metre wingspan.

It tolerates a wide variety of habitats, nesting in any location near a body of water providing an adequate food supply.

In a careful operation, the Coffs Harbour pair have had their old nest relocated from the floodlight at Council’s Velodrome to a specially designed pole close to a nearby woodland area.

“The ospreys, which are listed as ‘vulnerable’ under the Threatened Species Conservation Act, built themselves a nest on a light pole at the Velodrome in Toormina last autumn,” said Council’s Sports Unit Events and Local Sports Coordinator, Leanne Atwal.

“The nest had to remain where it was, so we have had to leave that light off ever since to prevent the sticks and other material catching fire.

“As ospreys always return to their previous nest sites, we immediately started to look for an alternative location – in the same area – that they can return to this year.”

The Sports Unit consulted with Council’s Biodiversity section and the Department of Environment and Climate Change on the change of location, as well as Country Energy and Telstra experts, who have a great deal of experience and success in relocating osprey nests.

“A suitable pole was sourced from Brelsford Park and Telstra very kindly donated a cradle in which the old nest can be placed at the top of the pole,” Leanne Atwal said.

“In addition, Country Energy very generously offered to dig the hole in which the pole has been placed at the new site.

“While there are no guarantees, we’re very hopeful that the ospreys will return and take to their new home. They might even produce chicks this time.”