Osprey have been spotted in a recently relocated nest near Bay of Shoals, on Kangaroo Island.
The nest was successfully repositioned thanks to advice from coastal raptor experts and a collaborative effort from the Department for Environment and Water’s Coast and Marine Branch, National Parks and Wildlife Service and SA Power Networks.
The nest is estimated to be 15 to 20 years old, measuring to 1.5 metres in diameter, with Kangaroo Island National Parks and Wildlife Manager Mike Greig saying it was extremely pleasing to spot an osprey inspecting the nest, less than 24-hours after it was relocated.
Osprey are endangered in South Australia, with only eight active breeding pairs recorded on the island in the most recent surveys conducted in 2015-17.
“This project has been made possible by several parts of the agency coming together,” Mike said.
“DEW’s Conservation and Threatened Species Unit coordinated the operation with help from KI rangers and the operations team, who worked hard to make this go smoothly.
“SA Power Networks also did an amazing job of getting the old nest off the stobie pole.
“There’s no guarantees, but they’ve found it which is step one for us. Now we’ll wait for the breeding season to start from July onward to see if they’ll nest in it.
“However, it must also be noted that several studies have found that not all osprey pairs breed every year. In any given year about 25 per cent to 30pc of pairs may be inactive. “
The nest was repositioned from a parcel of land near an old quarry which is currently earmarked for rehabilitation. As part of future works SA Power Networks are planning to remove old power poles and lines.
The osprey nest was previously located on an old power pole, but it has now been shifted 140 metres away, onto a pole which sits 7.5m above the seabed, and about 5m above the water.
During the careful operation to relocate the nest, it was removed from the power pole and placed onto a square platform where it was bolted and wired on, before being hoisted up and hitched into position on top of the pole. A perch above the nest is faced in an easterly direction, to counter for winds blowing in from the west.
The location was chosen to ensure the ospreys would remain undisturbed by people walking or driving near, or underneath the nest. The new location will still allow the opportunity for members of the public to monitor activities at the nest throughout the year without disturbing the birds.
“Osprey nests have been successfully relocated previously in other areas across Australia and around the world, so we’re hopeful we will have the same, successful outcome here with this nest in Bay of Shoals,” Mike said.