A female osprey nesting on the Route 1 utility pole refuses to budge despite efforts from Central Maine Power to move the birds. Courtesy of the Leeman Highway Osprey Advocates of Bath Maine and Beyond

A persistent pair of ospreys have created a new, if unimpressive, nest atop a utility pole along Route 1 in Bath, despite Central Maine Power’s efforts to get the birds to relocate.

The raptors have assembled a small nest between yellow pylons installed by CMP to deter them from rebuilding on the pole after crews removed an existing nest just before the ospreys arrived this spring. CMP has said the nest was destroyed because it posed a risk of causing power outages.

Joanne Adams, osprey photographer and founder of the Leeman Highway Osprey Advocates from Bath and Beyond, believes the osprey has lost her first egg clutch, but noticed it returned to the utility pole on Route 1 early Saturday after last being seen in the area on Tuesday, May 14.

“The nest that’s there now that [the ospreys] have built hangs on both sides, and if CMP were looking to not have a power outage that nest is the most dangerous nest I have ever seen in my life,” Adams said.

The nest is precariously balanced on the utility pole with the sticks being perpendicular to the cross bar. The whirlybird barriers meant to deter the ospreys haven’t worked, and Adams would like to see them taken down. The ospreys also haven’t shown much interest in the new nesting pole CMP erected. Adams said she believes the pole is too close to the highway for the birds to want to nest there. She also worries it could cause an accident if a portion of the nest or a bird were to fall onto the road.

“As the male [osprey] brings sticks, the female [osprey] doesn’t always approve of the sticks,” Adams said. “If he brings one [stick] she doesn’t like as soon as he flies away she throws them over the edge.”

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The nesting pole was installed back in April by CMP but was built too late, according to Adams, adding that the osprey could have rejected the alternative nesting pole because it still had human scent. Usually erecting a pole like that is done in the fall when there’s plenty of time to remove human scents by the environment, Adams said.

Adams plans to contact the Maine Office of the Public Advocate for utilities. Adams has reached out to CMP with concerns over the osprey nest but hasn’t heard back.

If the nest had been taken down back in the fall, put on the platform up, and moved pieces of the old nest to the new pole so the ospreys would take over the new platform then CMP wouldn’t be having a problem with moving the birds, Adams said.

“It’s serious business for the birds and for the public safety,” Adams said. “They have to do better for the people and the birds.”


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