May 8, 2012

City workers remove osprey nest from new megaberth

A state biologist said the nest could be removed if it contained no eggs.

By Kelley Bouchard
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — Municipal workers removed a nest today that two ospreys were building at the end of the city's new megaberth for cruise ships.

click image to enlarge

Randy Emmons, left, and Toni Doucette, workers with the city of Portland, remove an osprey nest at the end of the megaberth pier at Ocean Gateway today.

Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

In this May 3 photo, a pair of Ospreys are taking up residence at the end of the Ocean Gateway Pier II.

John Patriquin / Staff Photographer

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City officials took action after a biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said the nest could be removed if it contained no eggs, according to Nicole Clegg, city spokeswoman.

The feathered pair was building the nest at the end of 1,000-foot-long Ocean Gateway Pier II, atop an electronic capstan that dock workers use to wind a ship's mooring lines to a nearby bollard.

The municipal employees dismantled the yard-wide nest around noon and threw more than a dozen bundles of branches and sticks into Portland Harbor.

"We have been instructed by MDIFW that if there are no eggs to remove the nest as soon as possible," Clegg said in an email to the Portland Press Herald.

Clegg said city workers will place something on the surface of the capstan, "either a pitched cover or spires, to deter the birds from using that location for nesting in the future."

Completed last September, the megaberth is scheduled to serve its first cruise ship in September.

Scott Lindsay, a state wildlife biologist, said the ospreys will have plenty of time to build a nest elsewhere.

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