Osprey Nesting Platforms & Monitoring

Project Name: Niagara Power Project

Summary: Osprey habitat improvement project

Client: New York Power Authority

Project Location: Six Locations along the Niagara River, NY

Services Provided:
•  FERC Compliance Management
    and Implementation
•  Agency Consultation
•  Habitat Improvement &
•  Federal and State Permitting
•  Long-term Monitoring

Project Timeframe:
2004 - 2005

Relationship with Client: Since 1994

Client Needs:
Osprey are listed as a species of special concern in New York and have been largely absent along the Niagara River Corridor in Western New York in recent decades. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) sought to design and install a number of pole-mounted nesting platforms along the Niagara River to encourage nesting and to aid in the re-establishment of this species in the area.
Kleinschmidt Solution:
Kleinschmidt worked with NYPA, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and other stakeholders to identify, prioritize, and select six installation locations along the Niagara River corridor. In support of this effort, Kleinschmidt developed a standard pole-mounted nesting platform design for use at each location. Kleinschmidt investigated each installation location to develop a site specific pole installation design that meets the pole height and foundation requirements. The platforms and poles were specifically designed for ease of safe access in the future by scientists while minimizing interference of osprey activity. Kleinschmidt also worked with Federal and State resource agencies to obtain needed permits. Kleinschmidt has also developed an annual monitoring plan to observe and evaluate future platform use. The installations proved to be challenging with extremely poor soil conditions, the need to avoid impacts to sensitive resources such as wetlands, rare species and sensitive habitats, and proximity to other raptors.
Client Benefits:
Despite installation challenges, the each platform has been utilized for nesting or perching by Osprey, illustrating that careful selection of locations and proper design of the platform is important for success.