GOLDEN POND - A Marshall County High School student’s Eagle Scout project resulted in installation of an osprey nesting platform in the Land Between The Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area.
Daniel Hagan, a senior at MCHS, designed and built the platform, and with the help of Pennyrile Electric in Cadiz, he installed it near Woodlands Nature Station in the Kentucky portion of LBL.
Hagan started planning the Eagle Scout project in the spring of 2010. He was inspired to begin the project after speaking with Nature Station staff about the importance of attracting osprey to LBL.
Osprey are fish-eating birds of prey that prefer to nest in areas near large bodies of water with an adequate food supply. According to National Geographic, “North American osprey populations became endangered in the 1950s due to chemical pollutants such as DDT, which thinned their eggshells and hampered reproduction.” The ospreys have rebounded significantly in recent decades, though they still remain scarce in some locations. Human habitat can be an aid to the osprey. In many occasions the birds will build large stick-and-sod nests on telephone poles, channel markers, and other similar locations. Artificial nesting platforms are common in areas where preservationists are working to reestablish the birds.
Woodlands Nature Station school program
coordinator Aviva Yasgur helped coordinate the effort.
“This project will be very beneficial to LBL because osprey are so important to our birding community and nature watch enthusiasts,” Yasgur said. “Hopefully, this project will provide numerous visitors with the opportunity to view an active osprey nest from Nature Station’s observation deck and Woodland Walk Trail.
She said Osprey will return to the area in March to begin the new nesting season.
“We appreciate Daniel’s hard work and Pennyrile Electric’s generosity in donating a utility pole and installation of the nesting platform,” Yasgur said.
Land Between The Lakes is managed by the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, in partnership with “Friends of LBL” to provide public lands outdoor recreation and environmental education.
For more information about LBL and its various offerings, visit www.lbl.org or call 1-800-LBL-7077 or 270-924-2000. Another source of information is www.friendsoflbl.org.