Craig Two area osprey families have full-grown offspring that need a home, and Craig resident Allan Reishus is planning to build their new digs.
Reishus is eager to talk about the ospreys that moved into the area on two structures that he and other community members installed four years ago. The structures had been vacant for a couple of years, but two years ago, birds started moving in. This year, four baby ospreys have grown up and are flying to and from the nests.
“When I started with these first two nests, we didn’t know. It was kind of a gamble,” he said. “But it paid off.”
A nest that sits on a structure in Craig city limits has fledged one young bird, and a nest near the Wyman Museum boasts three offspring. Reishus said the success of the Wyman nest is proof that the area is a great place for ospreys to call home.
“They are all flying now,” Reishus said. “The fact that three actually survived is pretty remarkable. There must be food.”
Now Reishus is working on getting two more structures set up to encourage the fledgling ospreys to come back to Craig.
“It’s a warm and fuzzy feeling for me and other people who see them,” he said.
Reishus is working with Cromer Contracting and other businesses in town to set up the future nest sites.
John Cromer, of Cromer Contracting, said he sees it as an opportunity for his business to give back to the community.
“We all live here and work here. We want to be good to the community. Craig has been good to us,” he said.
“It’s kind of nice to see the ospreys in the area,” Cromer said.
Reishus agreed that one of the best things about this project was giving people a chance to see some impressive birds of prey.
“Public viewing and wildlife watching is part of what we’re doing,” he said.
Eddie McGee, of the Yampa Valley Electric Association, said the company is donating the poles to the project to help the birds and protect them.
“It creates a nesting habitat and keeps the birds off the energized poles,” he said.
The new nesting structures will be going up in the fall. One will be off U.S. Highway 40 between Craig and Hayden. The other will be set up on the east side of Elkhead Reservoir.
Erin Fenner can be reached at 970-875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.