ROCKINGHAM, Vt. – The Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society is pleased to announce the placement of a nesting platform for osprey at Herricks Cove in Rockingham, Vt. For many years, avid birder Donald Clark worked to establish a platform to encourage osprey to nest in the Connecticut River valley. Thanks to the combined efforts of Don, Great River Hydro, and Green Mountain Power, a platform is now ready for the spring breeding season.
Don gained permission from Matthew Cole, community relations for Great River Hydro, to place a pole on the Great River Hydro land at Herricks Cove. Matt provided a crew to clear trees and shrubs from the platform location and worked with Green Mountain Power, who furnished the pole and platform materials, built the platform, and set the pole and platform in place.
The osprey is commonly known as the “fish-hawk.” Osprey always nest near water, where they feed by hovering and plunge-diving to capture fish. Populations of osprey were decimated by DDT, which caused eggshell thinning and nest failure. Osprey have also been victims of habitat loss, shootings, and poisoning by mercury and other chemicals.
Cooperative conservation efforts by state and federal wildlife agencies, power companies, nature organizations, and private landowners have resulted in recovery of the osprey, yet no osprey nest in this region of the Connecticut River valley. Osprey are regularly sighted each year at Herricks Cove, and we hope that the osprey platform will result in the establishment of a resident nesting pair here.
A dedication of the osprey platform will take place at the Herricks Cove Wildlife Festival Sunday, May 3, 2020. Information on the festival will be posted on the Ascutney Mountain Audubon Society website, www.amasvt.org.