Old dish is now 'des-res' for high flyers

Published 12:00pm 19 May 2021

Old dish is now 'des-res' for high flyers
Words by Nick Crockford

An old antenna dish is now the new home for two Toorbul residents who love the high life.

The dish, salvaged from an Energex project, has become home for two Eastern Ospreys that had to be relocated from a communications tower.

Each breeding cycle the birds, a favourite among local nature lovers, returned to the Energex tower at Toorbul Point substation, often adding to the nest.

Old dish is now 'des-res' for high flyers

No choice

But it began to affect the tower’s operation and maintenance work. Energex Senior Environmental Advisor Peter Bullen said there was no choice but to move it.

“Osprey like to pick a breeding location that provides a good view out over their hunting grounds and for that reason they tend to choose the highest tree or structure to build their nest and made our tower their home,” Mr Bullen said.

“In relocating an Osprey nest, some of the big issues are providing an attractive alternative for the birds in terms of location and importantly the height of the new nest.

Old dish is now 'des-res' for high flyers
Energex crews carefully moving the nest to its new location

New platform

“Another key aspect of such a relocation was to install deterrents at the old nest site.”

The new nest platform, 21 metres off the ground, is based on a re-purposed antenna dish at the suggestion of Energex Communication Advisor John Ryan, an Osprey enthusiast.

“A looking at various Osprey platform designs from around the world, we realised his idea ticked all the boxes,” said Mr Bullen.

Old dish is now 'des-res' for high flyers
The nest was outgrowing its first home.

Moving home

“Once the platform was constructed, we had the delicate task of moving the nest onto the new structure and ensuring it is in as perfect shape as the birds left it to ensure they use it.”

Energex Area Manager for Brisbane North Chris Graham said: “It’s great the Ospreys have accepted the relocated nest and we’ve been able to avert reliability issues the birds could have caused at the substation.

“It really is a win-win situation for the environment and the community.”

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