Osprey couple get a new home
Wilson Construction linemen maneuver the old nest atop the new pole.
Two lucky ospreys in Coulee Dam moved up to a new high rise apartment last Friday.
Now you will see them, about two flaps of the wing north, sitting atop a 115-foot pole overlooking their favorite fishing grounds below Grand Coulee Dam.
Their former home was atop the steel transmission tower, now removed, that anchored the end of the park below the Visitor Center.
While it was new digs for the ospreys, the apartment was familiar. Bonneville Power Administration had Wilson Construction carefully remove the 100-plus pound nest from the tower and put it into storage while waiting for the new pole to arrive.
The Wilson crew flew into the task quickly last Friday when it appeared that the ospreys were attempting to build a new nest on top of a nearby power pole.
The osprey sat atop the nearby pole patiently waiting for the day-long placement of the pole and nest.
Three times, one of the ospreys buzzed the new pole as if giving the installation a vote of approval.
Two towers in the park were removed earlier this year as part of relocation of the powerlines that carry electricity from the Third Powerplant at Grand Coulee Dam to the switchyards on the hillside above.
When it was determined that there was an osprey nest atop the tower, BPA officials had the nest carefully removed. Wilson Construction workers carefully lowered the nest and had it stored for later use.
Osprey pair watch workers putting up a new pole.
The nest was brought out Friday, carefully roped and bound with plastic wrap.
Workers dug a 15-foot hole, only a stone’s throw from the removed steel tower and cranes carefully placed the pole.
Two Wilson workers climbed into a hoist box and placed a nest platform on top of the new pole.
Moments later they went up the pole again to take up the preserved nest. The final touch was the placement of some salmon and cod in the nest. A nest-warming gift for the birds.
At about 4:15 p.m. all was well and the new apartment complex was finished and ready for occupancy.
For the osprey, it was like moving from the east side to Manhattan.
Neighbors reported that it was only a little while before the osprey were happily sitting atop their new home.