Preparing for the Return

Osprey Nest Platform by Josh Haas

Last year, our local area was lucky enough to have an Osprey pair take residence atop a power pole along the Kalamazoo River. For those not familiar with the Kalamazoo River, in 2010 we had a major oil spill in the river that is obviously still grabbing attention all over the area. To have Osprey continue nesting along the river even after that horrible situation is pretty inspiring and can also attest to the clean-up efforts thus far.

Ospreys have definitely made their comeback along with Bald Eagles, but they tend to be a bit more picky when it comes to nesting. A few weeks back a friend of mine approached me to help him do some video work for an up-coming documentary he’s working on (When Hope Hatches, This documentary will tell the story of the Osprey pair and also bring awareness to viewers of the importance the Kalamazoo River plays on local ecosystems. A major step in the process of this film was to document the erection of a new platform as the old power pole was being taken down. This would be all about preparing for the return.

Osprey by Josh Haas

The process began with capturing the current pole being torn down. This had us a bit worried given the unknown of whether returning Osprey would use the new platform or not. Knowing the current pole had to come down, there was nowhere to go but forward. A couple hundred yards away was a prime location, however, for the new platform. Constructed of cedar, this platform would be roughly 15 feet high with an excellent view of the river and surrounding area. Partnering with the Kalamazoo Nature Center and local volunteers, the platform was pre-built which made erecting it much easier. Once in place, sticks were added and it would then be time to wait.

Osprey by Josh Haas

On April 4th, the wait was finally over as the cellular nest camera started sending photos that included Osprey on the platform. While it’s still early, we are all extremely excited about the outlook. Not only does it look like the Osprey may indeed use this platform, it looks good for the documentary to continue moving forward. I will continue to share blogs regarding how the Osprey are doing as well as links to view photos/videos throughout the season. In the meantime, if anyone is interested in donating to make the documentary happen, feel free to contact Matt Clysdale (

Josh Haas

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