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March 2012
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CityLink Seattle

Ospreys Get a New Home at Commodore Park


Parks Department carpenters finish building the osprey platform.

Seattle Parks and Recreation, in partnership with Seattle City Light, Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, built and installed a nesting platform for ospreys in Commodore Park near the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard.  The new platform provides a safe nesting habitat for breeding ospreys. 

The 4-foot by 4-foot platform is secured on top of a 70-foot pole very close to the location of the pole that was removed, and reflects the design of other successful nest platforms. Seattle Parks worked with neighbors, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Fish and Wildlife to site the pole. The goals were to place it in a desirable location, minimize impacts on park neighbors, and avoid interfering with navigational devices used by boaters or one of Seattle City Light’s electricity poles.

Workers prepare to set the pole with the osprey platform.


In 2009, ospreys began nesting on a telegraph pole on the trestle bridge. The telegraph pole, approximately 90 years old and severely deteriorated, was removed in 2011 after osprey nesting season because it posed a significant safety risk. 


The osprey pole in place at Commodore Park.

Parks and Seattle City Light installed the new pole March 28. The bird platform was equipped with some starter nesting branches. The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist who partnered with Parks on the project believes there is a strong likelihood that the ospreys will move into the new site.

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