Birdseye view: Country Energy linesmen Adam Cassin (left) and Clinton Quinlavan erect a new nesting spot for the osprey nesting on top of a floodlights pole at Kingsford Smith Oval in Ballina.
Birdseye view: Country Energy linesmen Adam Cassin (left) and Clinton Quinlavan erect a new nesting spot for the osprey nesting on top of a floodlights pole at Kingsford Smith Oval in Ballina. David Nielsen

Osprey nesting safety in spotlight

SOMEONE forgot to tell two osprey nesting at Kingsford Smith Oval in Ballina that is home to the Ballina Seagulls, not the Ballina sea hawks.

After neighbours noticed the osprey nesting above some floodlights, a 24-hour flurry of calls bet- ween Country Energy, Australian Seabird Rescue, Ballina Shire Council and the National Parks and Wildlife ensued to co-ordinate a rescue effort.

“People noticed that when the lights were turned on for junior football and hockey practice the birds would get a fright,” Country Energy field team leader John Nasser said.

The energy company and NPWS masterminded an ingenious plan, whereby the ospreys’ nest was moved to a specially-constructed cradle fitted one metre above the lights – moving the endangered birds and any future offspring well out of harm’s way.

Their original nesting material was transferred into the man-made cradle.

Barry Bryant, from Australian Seabird Rescue, who spent 20 years working as a firefighter, said it was only a matter of time before the nest caught fire.

Fortunately for the osprey, a specialised 61-metre-high elevated work platform from the Gold Coast just happened to be in the area.

Country Energy confirmed the osprey were enjoying their new home by nightfall.



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