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Energy Company Gives Osprey Pair A Housing Upgrade

osprey on utility pole
Sally Steinmann

Harwich residents brought doughnuts out for Eversouce Energy workers on Tuesday morning as the crew put up a nest platform for a pair of ospreys on Route 28.

The birds arrived in the area at the end of March for nesting season but when they went to settle into their old haunt on top of a telephone pole, the nest was gone.

Eversource had dismantled the osprey’s nest and covered the site with a rounded plastic guard because the nest posed a safety hazard, says Eversource spokesman Reid Lamberty.

“It is a matter of a risk to our electric system, to people and to ospreys themselves, in fact, as these nests do have the potential to cause a fire.”

Every time Eversouce takes down an osprey nest from one of their utility poles, they look for a nearby location to build an alternative nesting platform, Lamberty says. But they can’t always find a good spot. Especially with so many nesting birds.

“Quite frankly, due to the increasing osprey population, it isn’t always possible for us to put up a platform every time an osprey is trying to build on equipment,” Lamberty says.

This time though, the birds got lucky. After bird watcher Sally Steinmann of South Harwich complained to Eversource, the company agreed to build a nest platform off a nearby utility pole.

“The public outcry is what made this happen,” Steinmann says. “But it's the birds who made us want to help them.”

The community is rooting for the birds to take to the platform. “Everyone wants to throw fish up there, or do something to encourage them to go to the new nest,” Steinmann says.

For now, the pair’s prospects look hopeful. By Wednesday morning, the ospreys had started hauling up sticks to assemble their new home.