There's a new addition to the landscape at The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor.
A 70-foot tall osprey nesting platform has been installed on the north side of the property at Hwy 57 and Ridges Road, the site of the former Sandpiper Restaurant and the future home of the nature preserve's new interpretive center.
Ridges Executive Director Steve Leonard says the platform was put in December 17 by American Transmission Company as part of its Avian Protection Program.
Leonard says they're hoping the large fish-eating hawks will start using the platform in early spring.
"We'll keep everybody posted," says Leonard. "Definitely osprey are a key species in Door County and we're trying to sustain the population. I'm sure a lot of people have seen them around."
Birds nesting on utility equipment can pose problems, both for the safety of the birds as well as the reliability of the electric system. Osprey, in particular, build huge stick nests using grasses and reeds and like to use wide flat surfaces. To address the situation, ATC installs nesting platforms on its transmission system, as well as at other locations in partnership with various agencies, organizations, and individuals throughout Wisconsin.
For more information about osprey, go to http://birds.audubon.org/species/osprey.