The following is an excerpt from Enhancing Raptor Populations – A Techniques Manual, published by The Peregrine Fund. The book is available for purchase in our online store.
Raptors that use open nests can also be induced to use artificial nests for the purpose of augmenting their populations. A number of these species have suffered declining populations at least partly due to loss of nesting places. Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) received the most attention in terms of artificial nests, and building artificial nests for them was among the earliest management strategies designed to help them recover from population declines (Henny, 1977b). Techniques to provide artificial nests include killing live trees to create snags attractive to Ospreys (Glinski et al., 1983) and topping live trees; Airola and Shubert (1981) cut the tops off trees with trunks more than 35 cm (14 in) in diameter and built platforms on the top (Fig. 6C). See some examples of other Osprey nest platforms in Figs. 5-8. Construction details for a variety of Osprey nest platforms to be used in trees, on existing poles or towers, and self-standing nest platforms are given in Ewins (1994). The use of such platforms has benefitted Ospreys by increasing the breeding population, decreasing nestling mortality, and increasing fledging rates (Rhodes, 1972; Postupalsky, 1978; Houston and Scott, 1992).
Ewins (1994) made the following recommendations regarding placement of Osprey nest platforms:
Construction notes from Ewings (1994) include:
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Quadrapod Osprey nest platform. Designed for stability in water that freezes(modified from Ewins, 1994).
A. Georgian Bay design for mounting on bedrock. B. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment Canada design made from hardwood industrial pallet (modified from Ewins, 1994).