Ospreys Nest on a New Platform at Osceola Campus

A message from Dr. Kathleen Plinske, Campus President, Osceola and Lake Nona

Over the last several years, two Osprey pairs have been nesting on parking lot light poles at the Osceola Campus. Ospreys are also known as sea hawks, fish eagles, or fish hawks. While we love sharing our space with the Ospreys, active nests can cause a mess for cars below, damage the lights, and can make servicing the lights difficult. To avoid these issues while at the same time protecting the Ospreys’ home, our maintenance staff designed, built and installed nesting platforms last fall. Material from an abandoned nest was used to fill the new platforms.

The project has proven successful as a pair of Ospreys is nesting in one of the new platforms. There is still an original and active Osprey nest on a parking lot light pole; given the success of the platform, the nest will be relocated to a platform after this year’s nesting season. In addition, we are planning to install another Osprey tower close to one of the campus ponds.

Osprey nesting season in Florida is from late January through March. A mating pair constructs the nest, and the female incubates two to three eggs and shades the young Ospreys from the hot sun. The male typically catches fish while the female tends and feeds the hatchlings. Ospreys are vocal raptors, and you can hear the female calling to the male to bring in a fish.

We are proud to be home to the first successful Osprey platform built on any of Valencia’s campuses. Through efforts to eliminate use of pesticides and fertilizers and plant native plants, all of the Valencia College campuses are becoming richer by welcoming native wildlife.

For further information on the Osceola Osprey project, contact Boris Feijoo at bfeijoo@valenciacollege.edu or at extension 4999.

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