Over recent months, an osprey (pictured) has started building a nest atop this power pole on Yamba Road near the marina – and rebuilding, each time Essential Energy (EE) workers removed it.
An Essential Energy spokesperson said that unsuccessful attempts have been made to “encourage the bird to relocate its nest elsewhere”.
However, crews from Maclean are now in the process of confirming a site for the installation of a taller pole and platform.
The spokesperson said the new pole would be “positioned in a safer and more satisfactory location for the bird, [hoping] that the osprey will move to the site in coming weeks”.
This concurs with the Office of Environment and Heritage’s policy, which states: “In areas where potential nesting habitat (i.e. large trees close to waterways) has [sic] been removed, erect artificial pole and platform nest sites.
“Ensure that these sites are monitored, maintained and evaluated in terms of their use.”
In 2009, the NSW Scientific Committee found that the eastern osprey meets criteria for listing as Vulnerable in NSW under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 – it is listed as Schedule 2 (Vulnerable).
That review noted that “there are about 120 breeding pairs and a total population of [fewer] than 300 Eastern Ospreys in NSW”.
“The benefit of moving nests away from major powerlines is two-fold,” the EE spokesperson said, “with Essential Energy helping a vulnerable species survive and, at the same time, removing the risk of the ospreys contacting live powerlines and causing power outages”.
“Essential Energy has established power poles with platforms in several other locations across the north coast that have been successfully adapted by ospreys as nesting sites, and has worked closely with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service authorities and the Department of Environment to develop and install special nesting cradles on dummy power poles.”