Osprey nest platform installed at NK High

A new osprey nest platform was recently installed on top of a pole near the North Kitsap High School football stadium in efforts to relocate nests and prevent the birds from nesting on transformers and transmission poles where they could cause costly power outages.

Kitsap Audubon Society and Poulsbo Rotary donated the nest platform materials and are covering any additional costs, while Puget Sound Energy donated and installed the pole.

The old nest on the light tower at North Kitsap High School had been used for seven years, audubon member Gene Bullock said. The ospreys add sticks every year, so the accumulated weight (around 400 pounds) threatened to collapse the structure. He said it was also a health, safety and fire hazard next to the lights overlooking the active playing field.

Kitsap Audubon led a similar relocation of nesting ospreys eight years ago at nearby Strawberry Community Fields, with PSE donating and installing the pole that time as well.

Ospreys are especially drawn to the nearby NK school campuses due to the pond behind the horticultural building, which is stocked with trout by the Poulsbo Lions Club for its annual fishing derby, Bullock said.

He said the ospreys surprised many by returning early this year. He said the birds will probably try to first rebuild their nest on the old site but “excluders” have been installed on all the light towers to prevent that, meaning they will have to look for other options.

“They will see the starter nest of sticks we have provided and will more than likely adopt the new platform,” Bullock said. “The pair we relocated eight years ago by Poulsbo Elementary School (Strawberry Fields) have been happily raising families there ever since.”