Department of Natural Resources and NIPSCO are working together to make
Northwest Indiana a better place to raise a family. Well, a better place for
ospreys to raise their families.
Last week, DNR and
NIPSCO installed two 30-foot osprey nesting platforms at Indiana Dunes State
Park. Both towers overlook wetlands and are viewable by the public.
nested in Northwest Indiana in more than a century. Currently, there are
fewer than 60 nesting pairs of this state-endangered bird of prey in the
In much of the
eastern United States, ospreys favor artificial structures for nesting.
Annual bird counts have shown that more than 100 osprey migrate over the
Dunes each spring.
“The osprey is a
fascinating bird to watch,” said Brad Bumgardner, interpretive naturalist at
Indiana Dunes State Park.
“Their comeback is
a symbol of the importance of wetlands, clean water, and a healthy
environment. They’re a great bird to get visitors excited about wildlife and
to learn more about the outdoors.”
The first nesting
platform can be seen from the Trail 8 boardwalk, near Wilson Shelter.
The second can be
seen from the park’s eastern boundary, along Kemil Road, north of U.S.
Highway 12, in Beverly Shores.
Funding to build
the platforms, which sit atop the 30-foot utility poles, came from the
Friends of Indiana Dunes group.