Osprey – Pandion haliaetus
Summertime visitors today often see osprey plunging “feet-first” into the lakes and ponds after their dinner — fish. Though native to the area, osprey became victims of pesticides like DDT, illegal hunting and habitat loss. By 1950 nesting osprey could not be found anywhere in Kentucky.
Beginning in 1984, Land Between The Lakes took part in a Kentucky-wide osprey restoration effort aimed at re-establishing a resident population of nesting birds. Using a raise and release technique called “hacking,” our wildlife staff raised young birds isolated from human contact on a tall hacking tower near the Nature Station. When these birds matured, we hoped they would return to the area to breed. The hacking effort continued through 1990 and is considered a success.
To further encourage nesting, biologists placed large platforms on and around our lakes. Many of these platforms house osprey nests.
Today, a growing population nests in the lakes region.
To find out more, check out Wildlife Management.
For tips on viewing wildlife on Land Between The Lakes, refer to our Wildlife Watching Tips.