BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — An osprey pair has a new, secluded residence in southern Indiana thanks to crews who installed a 45-foot-tall pole topped with the makings of a nest in the Fairfax State Recreation Area.
For the past two years, the raptors have used a different 30-foot nesting pole at the recreation area just south of Bloomington along Lake Monroe. This year, they raised two chicks from that lofty nest.
But the area near that pole is heavily traveled by human visitors and in 2018 the birds fled that nest because too many people came too close for comfort, The Herald-Times reported.
Last week, crews with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources and Duke Energy erected the new 45-foot-tall nesting pole to give the birds a more private spot when they return next year. It’s located in a more secluded area about a quarter of a mile away on a slight knoll near the lake.
“From a bird’s-eye view, it looks like it’s close,” said Jim Roach, property manager at Lake Monroe.
The plan is for the old nesting site to be removed before the ospreys return to look for a nesting site.
The new pole is topped by a 40-by-40-inch platform with a box in the middle and a mesh bottom. Grapevines have been wound into a shape Roach called a “big wreath” to make it inviting for the birds build a full nest there.
“Because of the location, it will be good spot for people to observe the osprey from a safe distance,” said Jill Vance, interpretive naturalist at the recreation area.
Members of the Sassafras Audubon Society raised the money needed to pay Duke Energy for the nesting pole's installation.