Lightning-damaged pine tree might find new life as home for ospery

info@islandpacket.comOctober 1, 2011 

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A Bluffton woman has found an innovative way to make use of a pine tree in her yard that began dying after a lightning strike this summer.

With the help of her son and a tree-care company, Alice Fraser is getting something she has wanted for a long time -- a nesting platform to attract osprey.

Fraser, a master naturalist and former kayak guide, said she often sees the birds flying by her home on Myrtle Island Road.

When the top of the tree hit by lightning began turning brown, she enlisted her 27-year-old son Jay, a building contractor, to construct a nesting platform.

"He helps me with all my interesting projects that no one wants to take on," shesaid.

Jay did his research and built the four-foot-square platform with boards and chicken wire on the bottom.

On Saturday, he was hoisted up along with Allen Brown of All Care Tree Surgery to install it.

Brown said it's not the first time he has been asked to install something to encourage nesting while trimming limbs.

"Every homeowner has their own little idea," Brown said. "This tree is in a great location in a really big pine near the water."

Fraser said her property is certified as a wildlife habitat with the National Wildlife Federation, which requires proving the land has food and nesting places for birds.

She also thinks the spot will be ideal for a pair because they like to be high up and can spot fish in the water from the vantage point.

"But I don't know if they'll come," she said. "It's like putting out bait!"

Brown said he'll be back in a few months to check whether the plan has taken flight.

Follow reporter Allison Stice at twitter.com/BlufftonBlogIP.

Related content:

Bluffton community mourns impending loss of two live oaks, Sept. 21, 2011

Bluffton Tree Committee pushes roundabout beautification, Aug. 9, 2011

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