It doesn’t look like much from the ground – just a platform atop a pole – but we’re hoping our latest osprey nest installation will give protected birds another safe place to call home.

We installed the new osprey nesting platform Wednesday (11/16) on state game lands in Coolbaugh Township, Monroe County. It’s our third such installation this year, with the other two in the Lancaster area. We’ve installed similar structures in past years, as well.

The 50-foot-high platform offers a safe nesting place for osprey. The birds are known for nesting on artificial structures, such as electricity towers, cell phone towers and bridges, located near water where they can feed. Providing a separate nesting place is good for both those structures and the birds.

“For instance, osprey nesting on a transmission tower can affect the reliability of the line or delay reliability improvement projects associated with that line,” said Jeff Luzenski, senior environmental professional. “If we can get the birds to nest on another structure, like our platforms, we can more promptly perform our work and keep reliability strong for our customers.”

We had help getting the platform in place. Local Eagle Scout Garrett Demkovitz built the platform, and the Game Commission helped us identify a good spot to put it.

We also worked with the commission when we placed the Lancaster-area platforms earlier this year, and we continue to work together to identify other suitable locations in our service area. We’ll soon raise another nesting spot at Beltzville Lake in Carbon County, using another platform constructed by Garrett Demkovitz.

Considered eliminated from Pennsylvania in the early 1980s, there now are about 150 active osprey pairs in the state. That’s good news, and we hope our platforms will keep the population rising still higher.

“We seek to be an environmentally responsible company and a supportive member of the community, so a project like this is a natural for us,” Regional Affairs Director Alana Roberts said. “We appreciate the help of Garrett Demkovitz and the Game Commission, and we look forward to continuing to help these birds prosper in our service area.”