When ospreys return to Patoka Lake this spring, they will find new nesting platforms, courtesy of Dubois County Rural Electric Cooperative (Dubois REC).
The REC donated four platforms and volunteered the labor to install them. These 30-foot platforms will serve as a safe place for osprey to nest away from live power lines.
“It was fun and something different,” said Jacob Durcholz, a lineman with Dubois REC. “We don’t get to do this kind of project every day, so we really enjoyed it.”
Ospreys are abundant at Patoka Lake, which created a demand for more platforms. Traditionally, ospreys nested in large, dead trees overlooking water. Power lines along waterways are also appealing to the birds but are dangerous. In 2017, an osprey pair built nests on power poles along State Road 164 near the lake, according to Patoka Lake wildlife specialist Brian Finch.
“These platforms draw birds from unsafe areas with power lines and create educational opportunities for the Patoka Lake community and our visitors,” Finch said. “We are lucky to have a local cooperative willing to help with some of our conservation initiatives.”
Two of the nesting structures are at the intersection of S.R. 145 and S.R. 164. One is along S.R. 164 near the Crawford-Dubois county line. Another is at the South Lick Fork State Recreation Area boat ramp.