Loading articles...

Calgarians in city's SE concerned about osprey nest being moved by construction crews

Last Updated May 5, 2021 at 8:52 am MDT

Twitter: @ENMAX

CALGARY – There are some ruffled feathers over what’s happening at a highway construction project in southeast Calgary.

Some people who live near the Bow River Bridge along Stoney Trail are upset crews have been using a lift truck to remove an osprey nest.

Bernadette Webb is one of those people and says more needs to be done to build an alternate nesting site.

“Just want to make sure that all the laws are being covered and followed and that these conglomerates that can kind of take over and move these things without reason or planning that should have been done ahead of time before these things arrived,” she said.

Holly Lillie with the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation says it’s likely the construction company was granted a permit. Birds of prey don’t have the same protections as migratory birds.

“I would assume that the thought process is that because it’s early in the season potentially they could nest somewhere else,” she said.

“Other species, geese, for example, they are nesting. Goslings are already being born. They are protected under the migratory bird act which means that it’s illegal to disturb, tamper, or destroy the nests.”

She says in order to have those nests moved, there would have to be a permit approval process. And while relocating the bird’s nest could go over well, she’s also seen just how stubborn birds of prey can be.

“Their nests are being set up on platforms closeby to the original nest site and some birds do adapt well to that and they make the best of it. But I have seen some situations actually quite close to where I live where the nests are repeatedly taken down out of the powerline year after year and the osprey were determined to nest there.”

The institute says so far this spring, they’ve seen a 21-per cent increase in baby animals being turned in compared to last year, which set a record.

Lillie’s advice: call her before you act. It’s normal for young animals like rabbits to be left alone for hours, and interfering could cause more harm than good.