An osprey nest on top of a power pole near Classic Road and south of Greenbank has been removed to provide access to a cell phone company.
The pole won’t be altered, however, in way that would make it impossible for the birds to rebuild the nest when they arrive on South Whidbey sometime in early April, Puget Sound Energy Wildlife Biologist Mel Walters said. According to Walters, osprey are adept at rebuilding their homes and are accustomed to returning from their annual migrations south to find their homes destroyed or damaged by winds or other natural causes.
“The osprey will be back in a couple weeks,” Walters said. “They’ll rebuild the nest.”
Walters said a nest in the same area was taken down in 2013 so that repairs could be conducted. He also said that he’s been in steady contact with the Whidbey Audubon Society and has kept them informed of the latest happenings with the cell tower work. The success rate is apparently very high, as Walters said he has helped to move 70 nests and it has been 98-99 percent effective.
“Very seldom have we moved a nest and not been successful,” Walters said.
Walters also manages Puget Sound Energy aviation protection program.
“We work on trying to make our system safer for birds and prevent outages and prevent electrocutions.”