Condo owners request permit to remove persistent nesting ospreys

— Standing in the shadow of his North Naples condominium, Peter Page looks up at a bright blue sky and furrows his brow.

For the second time in as many years, a persistent pair of ospreys has built a nest on the edge of a roof of the Baypoint II on Bluebill Avenue.

The nest might be a natural curiosity for the walkers and bicyclers who can glimpse it from the bridge over the Vanderbilt channel, just up the road from the entrance to Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, but condominium owners consider the birds a messy nuisance and want the nest removed, Page, the Baypoint board president, said.

“We should be able to take this nest down and get on with our lives,” he said. “It’s just not right.”

The condominium’s manager hired an environmental consultant, who applied more than a month ago for a nest removal permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Ospreys are not considered an endangered species, and the state of Florida considers them only a species of special concern in Monroe County. Still, the birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Page said the idea is to get the permit before the birds lay eggs in the nest, which would prohibit the condominium from messing with the pile of sticks and branches until the young birds have fledged.

The nest removal permit — which would require nest removers to contact the Conservation Commission if they encounter eggs or young — has been drafted and is in the hopper to be issued as early as next week, Conservation Commission protected species coordinator Angela Williams said Friday.

“It’s pretty much routine,” she said, adding that the birds have been “deemed probably hazardous to those down below.”

Mating ospreys have been known to dive at humans, and falling pieces of the nest could be a hazard, she said.

Baypoint owners know all about the hazard of living with ospreys on the roof.

The ospreys first nested atop an elevator shaft at the condominium in December 2007.

The nest was above the entrance to the building, which had to be cleaned of the ospreys’ ample droppings every day, Page said.

He said residents scurried into and out of the building through the first-level parking garage rather than risk an ill-timed entrance or exit.

“They were getting bombed,” Page said.

After six months, the ospreys left, and the condominium put a pyramid-shaped device on the top of the elevator shaft to deter the birds.

“We didn’t think that bird would ever come back,” Page said.

But it did, last December, and the condominium owners resumed their battle with the birds.

Twice, the condominium removed the beginnings of the osprey nest, Page said.

He said he heard that the osprey started to build a nest on the top of a nearby construction crane, but that the crane operators lowered it to make it a less attractive spot.

That’s when the ospreys set their sights on the current nest location.

The front door is out of droppings-range of the new nest, but it’s seven floors above and a little to the left of a grilling and picnic area.

“You can stand out there, and the wind blowing, I mean you’re going to get covered with bird stuff,” Page said.

The ospreys have their supporters, who say they are unmoved by the condominium owners’ list of grievances against the big birds.

“I think that’s kind of minor in my book,” said Jane Dvorak, 55, walking past the Baypoint condominium Friday. “I say leave it, let nature do its thing.”

© 2009 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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