News / 25.11.2015

New nest for osprey pair

A nest built by ospreys in a power pylon was replaced during the birds’ autumn migration by a man-made nest base built in the top of a pine tree.

A pair of ospreys living in Helsinki had made their nest in one of Helen Sähköverkko’s power pylons and raised their young successfully in it last summer. But because the location was problematic for the electricity network, a new nest was built for the birds a little further from the power line, in the top of a pine tree.

- We spotted the birds’ nest-building project last spring, says Tiina Saransaari, Transmission Network Specialist from Helen Sähköverkko Oy. We let them nest in peace, but now during the autumn migration it was possible to move the nest to a safer place. We contacted ornithologists, with whom we made the replacement nest. We hope that the osprey pair will nest in this new nest next year.

In a single summer, the osprey nest had already grown to quite a size, and it might have caused disruptions in power transmission. Power plants are particularly sensitive to fast voltage changes, and the detachment of more than one power station from the electricity network could cause a widespread power distribution outage in Helsinki.

The move of nesting site was made in collaboration with Tapio Solonen, a researcher involved in a national osprey monitoring project with the Finnish Museum of Natural History. When spring comes, they will wait with trepidation to see if the birds approve of the new nest. 

- The chances of the ospreys accepting the new artificial nest are good, says Tapio Solonen. It could also happen that they remember their last successful nesting so well that they will start building a new nest in the same power pylon.

Solonen informs us that a significant number of Finland’s ospreys nest in artificial nests made by humans. Ospreys may use the same nest for decades. Suitable nesting trees for them are few and far between, especially around Helsinki. What is more, the sea eagle and osprey may compete over the same nest sites.

osprey nest