An important part of our Osprey reintroduction project consists of building artificial nests to give the birds a helping hand when they return to Switzerland to breed. Once we had identified potentially suitable trees and obtained permission to build nests in their tree tops, Daniel Schmidt (pictured in action above) came from Germany to demonstrate and provide training in the art of building artificial nests that no Osprey would be able to refuse. Three Fribourg ornithologists who are also very experienced tree-climbers (Christian Grand, Pascal Grand and Henri Vigneau) helped Daniel to build the first nest, and then went on to build a second nest the following day. Michel Beaud, Emile Curty, Denis Landenbergue and Wendy Strahm also helped out in this operation.
Osprey nests are usually built on a tall tree with commanding views, so the birds can have a panoramic 360° view. Our first two nests were built at the top of 35m tall Scots Pines, a difficult operation so we were lucky to have good weather with little wind. It will probably take several years before our released birds return, and we are optimistic that when they do, they will find these custom-made platforms irresistible. Many thanks to the whole team for these first two beautiful nests, and for the many more that we are already planning on building.