For Immediate Release: August 28, 2015
Contact: Jan Thornburg, Sr. Communications Manager 941-954-2613
Sarasota, FL: With State of Florida approval, an inactive osprey nest is being relocated by the City of Sarasota from a light pole at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex (RLTCC) athletic field to an adjacent pole with an osprey-friendly platform designed and installed specifically for the birds. The final relocation, along North Osprey Avenue, is tentatively scheduled to occur Monday, August 31 at 10 a.m. at RLTCC, 1845 34th Street, weather permitting.
An osprey roosts atop a light pole at RLTCC in March 2015.
Ospreys are a federally and state protected bird. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission granted the City of Sarasota a Migratory Bird Nest Removal permit with specific conditions to encourage the return of the migrating ospreys.
“With the permit, the City is not obligated to relocate the nest,” said Neil Gaines, Public Works Project Manager. “We could build a comparable nest in a nearby location. But, we want to preserve the ospreys’ habitat as much as possible, so we’re moving the whole nest — all 100 pounds of branches, twigs, and leaves – approximately 300 feet away to another pole where we’re assembling a custom-built platform and perch for the birds.”
The new location for the osprey nest parallels North Osprey Avenue.
An ornithologist, who was consulted about the proposed relocation and assisted with the state permit application, informed staff that ospreys tend to respond well to nest relocations of this nature, particularly when the new site is nearby, taller, and offers a perch – all of which the City is providing.
A new multi-purpose athletic field has been planned for the North Sarasota community since RLTCC opened in 2011. As the City was going through the procurement process to construct the field, the ospreys built the nest atop a light pole designated to be removed for the project. The nest has been inactive since May 2015.
“Many of us at RLT enjoyed watching the ospreys every day before they left for the summer,” said Jerry Fogle, RLTCC Manager. “It’s pretty neat to have them in such a busy urban area. Relocating the nest is a win-win for everyone. The community soon will have an impressive new multi-purpose field for soccer and football, and the ospreys will have a better vantage point — right along Osprey Avenue,” said Mr. Fogle.
The number of outdoor light poles for the new soccer and football field will be cut in half – from eight to four. Each of the four new poles will have an osprey-friendly platform and perch installed to encourage nesting on the platform rather than in the new LED lights.
Construction on the field is expected to begin in the fall.
For more information contact Neil Gaines, Project Manager: 813-365-2200 ext. 6309.
About the City of Sarasota: Distinguished by Google as a Digital Capital in the U.S., the City of Sarasota is a diverse community located on Florida’s Suncoast with 53,000 year round residents, several internationally recognized cultural arts venues, stunning sunsets along Lido Beach, a 45-hole municipal golf course at the historic Bobby Jones Golf Club, and Major League spring training baseball with the Baltimore Orioles. Learn more about us at www.SarasotaGov.com