This osprey platform should be preserved, and its twin restored, as small but symbolically important steps in fostering wildlife habitat and protection at Alameda Point. The light stands are icons that deserve preservation on historical grounds alone. They deserve preservation even more so now on environmental grounds.
You can view an extensive slide show and a video about the ospreys on the Alameda Point Environmental Report.
Besides refurbishing these two stands for potential bird nesting, it would be a good idea to install a pole with a horizontal perch next to each light stand. These poles could be outfitted with cameras – one facing the nesting area, and another facing the lagoon – which, during nesting season, could provide online streaming video of the osprey’s activities.
During the recent nesting season, the ospreys would use the straight sign post next to the nest as a perch, often eating a fish there or simply using it as the “on deck” perch before swapping spots on the eggs.
The ospreys were fascinating to watch as they would return from the runway area with branches and sticks to build their nest, or from nearby waters with a fish. If they return next year, maybe then there will be sanctioned observation programs by wildlife biologists.
Many communities around the country finance the construction of platforms next to lakes and bays in order to attract ospreys. We should take advantage of this rare opportunity to adopt some ospreys that choose to nest in such an unlikely spot, just six feet from the ground.