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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A couple years ago I had two 40' eagle/osprey nesting platforms installed. The platforms were located next to a river and a creek with plenty of fish for a food source. One platform has since blown down from a strong gale force wind. In the spring and early summer we shoot lots of gophers (Richardson squirrels) in a different area and then put them near the platform for another food source. Problem is...no eagles/ospreys have taken up residence even though there have been several in the immediate area. The magpies are getting so fat they can hardly fly. My question - what would entice eagles or ospreys to use the platform? A friend suggested putting baling twine on the nest platform and letting it dangle off the sides. Your thoughts?
Sky Tree Natural landscape Electricity Terrestrial plant
 

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Buenos Hatches Ese
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The specific eagle's nests that I know of have been in the same spot for years. I don't think those birds go looking to build new nests unless they have to, and with a life span of 20 years it could be a long time before they move their homes. Maybe you will just have to wait it out?? But that is just a guess. I have no insider knowledge about the behavior of eagles. It sure would be cool to have some living on your property though.
 

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Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
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Might be worth a call to F & G and talk to a biologist that specializes in raptors.
They might give you some ideas on what might attract some birds.
We have a big Osprey nest in the top of a cell tower near our office and I enjoy watching them while eating lunch coming back to the nest with fish in tow.
SF
 
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Cool idea. Would be neat to have a nest in the back yard.

Sometimes, birds of prey aren't very nice to each other and steal each other's nests. I bet if you piled up some material on the platform, a passer-by might stop for a look and decide it's a sweet, turn key deal! If not, you could just tell your friends and family an eagle put that stuff up there and must be coming back to build soon....
 

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Interesting post. First off, it's cool you took the time to make a nesting platform... some give back to habitat loss. The ones I see around the Ruby and Madison Valleys were occupied this summer, but not all of them. Perhaps as one moves out it takes a little while before the "all clear" sign comes on? Contacting FWP's as suggested or even the Audubon Society about it would be a good start.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good points, thanks guys...

Early next spring I'm planning on installing another platform on a knoll with a gain in elevation and a more "commanding view". We had to settle on less than ideal locations for the first two because of using standing dead cottonwoods. The next will be different, might even get a chance to consult with a raptor expert.

Keep the ideas coming, I'm all ears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Maybe they are smart enough to not trust a dead cottonwood. I wouldn't live near live ones.
Ha, you bring up an interesting point. I have a love hate relationship with c'woods as well.
Shade in the summer but structurally....da pits!
Next spring it's Vigilante or Northern Power thank you very much....
 

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Things I've heard and observed over the years, osprey like a high nest near the water, but not necessarily the highest point around. Bald eagles prefer to nest in the tallest tree that can support the nest, with a wide panoramic view all around. There was an eagle nest in a large cottonwood on the Morice River that was used for many years. The eagles would add some to it every year until the nest weighed about a ton. I don't know for sure, but that weight might have been what broked the main trunk of the tree. And after that, it was no longer the tallest place for a nest in the vicinity.
 

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Outta Here
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I'm well acqainted with many of the osprey nest trees in Riverside State Park....and there are a few fixed platforms as well. Usage is unpredictable, as is the nest construction skills of various pairs; some appear to be unable to build a nest with sidewalls sufficient to keep chicks from falling out, while others' nests are flimsy affairs that cannot withstand even a moderate windstorm.

Bald Eagles, of course, account for considerable osprey chick mortality, but in the past twenty years I've seen a fair number of osprey nests taken over by Canada geese...who manage to raise goslings to the point they grow large enough to tumble out of the nest, landing gently on the ground, where they make an immediate dash for the adjacent river.

Osprey are no match for a pair of geese intent on taking over a nest. I never observed this behavior growing up (believe me, I'd have noticed). I wonder if the behavioral change occurred with the large increase of non-migratory resident Canada geese...who seem (to my untrained eyes) much more territorial than the previous seasonal visitors.
 

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Typically see eagles nesting lower down in the trees; they tend to construct their nest in the "crouch" of the tree or on large limbs. The Osprey tend to nest in the tops of the trees; on towers, etc. Would expect to see an osprey to use your platform instead of an eagle.

Eagles tend to be pretty territorial and if there are eagles nesting nearby they maybe preventing other birds from nesting in the area. Ospreys don't like hanging out near the eagles. It is not uncommon for eagles to have multiple nests so the local birds may be eventually attracted to your site. When you construct the next site you might try putting sticks on the platform; essentially building a smallish nest. If the birds like your site as they begin "house keeping" duties they will add to the start nest.

The advice to consult with local experts (local fish and game bio) is an excellent one and they may be to provide insights in design and location.

Curt
 

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I'd be cautious about putting up baling twine. There has been an osprey or two in my area that have killed themselves in their nest by getting tangled in the twine. A shitty way to go. I do think they deliberately decorate their nests with it tho FWIW.
 

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Language, its a virus
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Having a few eagle nest's within two minutes
from my front door I have seen mostly the top
of big firs where they nest.

I remember driving out to work and at that the
top of the drive there is something large standing
on the side of the road. As I got closer I stopped. A
three (maybe less) foot tall baby. I called F&G (like
three other neighbors) and it was no worries. We saw
it with the parents later that week.
 

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Osprey can be really finicky, I have seen numerous nest boxes put up in very prime locations only to go unused for years. Then suddenly one year they will decide to use them. Good luck and keep trying. Also don't forget about the owls, keep snags on your property for perching and nesting!
 
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