Osprey are large birds of prey that catch fish on large bodies of water. Their nests are large collections of sticks built on tall structures near the water where they hunt. They sometimes choose to build nests on man-made structures such as utility poles, and if there are active power lines strung on the poles, the nests or even the birds themselves, can bridge between lines, causing fires, power outages, and death to the birds.

Erie Bird Observatory is partnering with First Energy, an electric utility covering parts of four states, and the First Energy Foundation to provide nest platforms where they are needed in Pennsylvania, to deter ospreys from nesting on active utility poles.

How can you help?  Please report locations where you have seen osprey attempting to build nests on a utility pole. We will provide location information to the utility, and provide a platform for them to install. With landowner permission, they will put in a new, separate pole and erect the platform for the osprey to use, while also adding deflectors to the cross bar of the original pole to keep the osprey from continuing to build there. 

How do I report a location? 

  • Call Erie Bird Observatory at (814) 580-8311

  • Send an email to us at info@eriebirdobservatory.org

  • Create an account on www.osprey-watch.org and report a new nest. This site will allow you to keep reporting all the observations you make at the nest through the season, and we can keep tabs on it too.

What information is needed? 

  • Location, location, location! The most critical piece of information is to get as exact a location as you can. A pole number is ideal, or if it not safe or feasible to get close enough to record the number, then the geographic coordinates of where you are observing from are fine. Most cell phone mapping apps can tell you your latitude and longitude. You may need to “drop a pin” in that location.

  • A description of what you see. A few sticks on top of a cross bar? Adult ospreys arriving carrying sticks? A large pile of sticks? A completed nest?

  • The date you observed the nest or birds.

  • Your name and contact information so we can get back in touch to follow up with you.


Thank you for participating!