When Daniel Hagan of Boy Scout Troop #422 constructed and put up a nesting platform for osprey in Land Between The Lakes for his Eagle Scout Project in the spring of 2011, he had high hopes. He hoped that a pair of these magnificent fish-eating hawks would adopt his platform and use it as a safe place to build their nest and raise their young. He hoped that his platform would give visitors to Land Between The Lakes great views of nesting osprey, since he installed it in an easily viewable area near the Woodlands Nature Station.
One year went by, and the platform remained vacant. Then another. And another. Having worked with the staff of the Nature Station on the project, Daniel and his family checked in with us every so often over the years, and we had to keep giving them the same disappointing answer: “Not yet. Maybe next year.”
Well, four years later, in 2015, Daniel’s hopes have finally come true! This spring, a pair of osprey began nesting on Daniel’s platform, and we couldn’t be happier!
Daniel installed his platform near Honker Lake in one of Land Between The Lakes’ designated “Nature Watch” areas. Darrin Samborski, our Environmental Education Specialist who heads up the Nature Watch program, wanted to create a wildlife viewing opportunity for visitors. He directed Daniel to locate his platform in an open area below the pavilion near the Woodlands Nature Station. The goal was to create an opportunity for visitors to experience a unique “birds-eye” view of the nest from the pavilion. Often, when you look at a bird’s nest, you are looking up from the ground, and can’t see much of the activity in the nest. But here, visitors would be looking down from a hilltop pavilion at the nest below, thus able to enjoy a much better view. Today, this goal has been realized!
We are all very thankful to Daniel Hagan, as well as his family and fellow scouts, for all of the work that they put into this Eagle Scout Project. We are also thankful to Pennyrile Electric for working with Daniel to install the pole that the nesting platform sits on. Because of the efforts of all of these people, a family of osprey has a great place to nest, and visitors have a unique wildlife viewing opportunity.
Land Between The Lakes welcomes boy scouts to work with us on their Eagle Scout projects. Other successful projects that have been done with the Nature Station include: building an arbor for our backyard, removing and replacing benches on the Woodland Walk Trail, and building and installing bat roosting boxes.