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If you think the Chelan County PUD is only about power and parks, well, they're about birds, too. Ospreys were a topic at Monday's PUD Commission meeting, and how the PUD's Osprey nesting program is going. Chelan County PUD Biologist Kelly Cordell:

Osprey are not threatened or endangered, but they’re protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which prohibits anyone from moving an active nest. When a nest is started in an unsafe location, Chelan PUD builds standalone platforms up to 65 feet tall that provide osprey with a safer option nearby during the onset of nesting season. The nesting platform program began with fewer than 10 in 2006. This spring, the number of platforms totaled about 56 as the population of osprey has grown exponentially. But Kelly was asked about a target population, and said the PUD doesn't have one:

If there is a problem, it's in the forms of Canada Geese, which normally nest on the ground, have seized the opportunity and overtaken some osprey nests in recent years. Geese lay their eggs weeks before osprey return from their annual migration from Central and South America, forcing the raptors to seek lodging elsewhere.

To prevent the geese from using the osprey platforms, line crews place covers over the osprey nests during March to keep geese out until the osprey return. When the osprey arrive in early April, the covers are removed.

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