History of the South Waterfront Osprey

History of the South Waterfront Osprey

Credit: Bob Sallinger

History of the South Waterfront Osprey

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by Bob Sallinger, Portland Audubon

kgw.com

Posted on April 4, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Updated Thursday, Apr 5 at 4:29 PM

The history of the osprey pair at South Waterfront is great story of wildlife returning to the city. South Waterfront for decades has been a 140 acre contaminated brownfield---good for neither people or wildlife.

Over the past decade the community has been restoring this site. Eventually this area will be home to over 5000 people and more than 10,000 jobs. At the same time the area is also being restored to create wildlife habitat and set a high standard for sustainability. This includes LEED certified building, advances stormwater technologies, more than 4 acres of ecoroofs and habitat restoration along the greenway for fish and for birds. Audubon released a Cooper's hawk at the South Waterfront Groundbreaking Ceremony in 2004 in anticipation of things to come.

In 2007, just as the first human residents were beginning to move in, a pair of osprey also showed-up and nested on a PacifiCorp power pole located in the undeveloped area at the north end of the Central District at South Waterfront. They successfully raised young that year. However, following the 2007 nesting season, the nest was removed and the pole was capped due to hazards created by the proximity of the nest to sensitive electrical equipment.

Since that time there has been an ongoing community effort to provide a place for the osprey even in the midst of a complicated construction and restoration zone. This effort has involved a huge number of people and groups including South Waterfront residents, PacifiCorp, Zidell Marine, Audubon, the City of Portland, Williams and Dame Developers, The South Waterfront Nature and Greenspaces Committee, Hoffman Construction, The South Waterfront Dog Club and others.

A replacement nesting platform was fabricated by Zidell Marine in 2009. During the 2009 and 2010 nesting seasons, this platform as located on the Zidell property at South Waterfront.

In 2011 greenway clean-up and restoration activities on the Zidell Property necessitated that the platform be moved. Ownership of the platform was taken by the South Waterfront Dog Club and Portland Parks and Recreation issued a temporary permit to allow the platform to be placed at the on city property at the north end of the Central District Greenway for the 2011 nesting season.

In 2012 the platform was moved back from the greenway onto private property owned by Dike Dames in order to prevent conflicts with restoration activities on the city's property.

In 2013 or 2014 when greenway restoration activities are completed, the platform will have a permanent home at the north end of the greenway.

WATCH LIVE: KGW / Audubon Osprey Cam

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