In this case, if you build tall enough platform structures near large bodies of water, you can attract nesting osprey.
Once extremely common in North America, Osprey numbers declined precipitously in the mid-1900s in the U.S. as the birds failed to successfully reproduce. Chick production fell primarily because of widespread use of pesticides that caused egg-shell thinning and the loss of tall nesting trees near bodies of water due to rural and suburban development.
Many states started osprey reintroduction programs in the 1980s, bringing healthy chicks from remote locations where the birds still bred successfully and hand-rearing them in special “hack boxes” to fledging so that the youngsters would develop a site recognition and fidelity to that area. And it seems to have worked, because numbers of nesting pairs in areas where ospreys had disappeared have increased exponentially in the last 30 years.
Yesterday, I noticed that the osprey nest platform at Snail Lake (featured in an earlier post) was again occupied (it was unused last spring), and the pair of osprey that had set up housekeeping there was still adding branches to their nest.
But now that the lakes have unfrozen, hopefully they will finish nest building, lay their eggs and raise their chicks on the plentiful supply of fish in this marsh.