Liberty Utilities Installs Nesting Boxes to Protect Osprey

Listed as an endangered species in Illinois and as a species of concern in Missouri, Ospreys typically build their nests near bodies of water, in large trees, or on artificial structures such as electric utility poles. They return to the same nesting site each year, typically in the month of March.

The Osprey lost a nest in Stockton, Missouri, in 2014 after it came in contact with one of Liberty's energized electric lines. The birds were not injured, but the fire also caused damage to the transmission tower and line, interrupting electric service. The nesting pair rebuilt their nest on the utility pole.

In February 2015, line crews moved the Osprey nest from an electric transmission tower to a newly built nesting box. The nesting box is approximately four feet by four feet and approximately 70 feet high. By relocating the nest, crews increased the likelihood the pair would adopt the new nesting site. 

A live video stream was also placed at the nesting box. This was done for the viewing enjoyment of the community and to confirm the birds’ acceptance of their nesting alternative so it could be implemented at other locations in the Liberty system where this was occurring. We now have ten Osprey nesting boxes installed throughout our service territory.

The Osprey pair returns to the nesting box every year.

Osprey Facts:

  • Up to 24 inches long
  • 5- to 6-foot wingspan
  • Eat fish almost exclusively
  • Called “fish hawks” or “fish eagles”
  • 7- to 10-year lifespan
  • Mate for life
  • Lay 2-4 eggs
  • Chicks hatch in about 9 weeks
  • Both parents care for chicks

 

Watch Our Osprey Live Stream!