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E-Splash January 2013 - Ospreys Invited to Otter Lake
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Illinois Section AWWA - E-Splash -  January 2013

Ospreys Invited to Otter Lake

RECC sets up poles with nesting platforms

(With photos)

Where is a mighty osprey to live in the flatlands of central Illinois? With no craggy peaks and relatively few large trees, ospreys need some encouragement, which they got in November at Otter Lake in Macoupin County.

Two nesting platforms were installed by Otter Lake Water Commission employees and RECC linemen, to attract nesting ospreys to the area. The wire bases were woven with vines and branches and erected on 40-foot poles along the lake, where adult ospreys can feed on fish. Similar platforms were installed by RECC at Sangchris Lake in August, and have been used successfully by nesting osprey at a number of locations in the Midwest, including Lake Shelbyville.

Ospreys – a bird of prey listed as an endangered species in Illinois – nest in large trees, on rock formations, or on artificial structures near lakes, ponds, rivers and streams. Adult ospreys are generally 21-26 inches long with a black upper body and mostly-white head, chest and underbelly. Like other birds of prey, the population of ospreys in the U.S. has rebounded since the use of the pesticide DDT was discontinued in the early 1970s. No osprey nests were seen in Illinois from the early 1950s until the mid-1980s, and efforts like the platform installation at Sangchris Lake are used to attract even more nests in the state.

One of the nests at Otter Lake is located on the west side of the sediment dam on the north end of the lake, and the other is on the west side of the dam at the south end of the lake. "This was a great project and I really appreciate having a relationship with RECC that allows for us to do something like this,” said Dennis Ross, General Manager for the water commission.


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Forms necessary for requesting, checking in and checking out the Illinois Section AWWA Water Trailer.
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Water Trailer Reservation Form PDF (218.31 KB) Administration 2/7/2012
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Water Trailer Inventory XLS (33 KB) Administration 10/17/2014
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