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This Wyoming Wildlife sign is located on the east side of US Highway 191 south of Pinedale, Wyoming.

The power pole near the highway has supported an osprey nest for many years. Ospreys normally build their nests (eyries) on top of large columns of rock or in trees with broken tops. Utah Power and Light Company built this nest site by adding an extension and platform to an existing pole. This provides the birds a safer place to nest and prevents powerline damage due to falling nesting material. Other such devices have been constructed within several miles of this location.

Osprey nests are generally constructed of large sticks, driftwood, grasses and bark. Ospreys lay 2 to 4 cream-colored eggs with brown to lavender blotches. Eggs are generally laid in May and hatch in approximately 28 days. About eight weeks after hatch, the young take their first extended flights.

Throughout the summer the adults can be observed bringing fish to the young at the nest. Fish are the primary food of the osprey, and are the reason they are commonly referred to as “fish hawks”. Ospreys dive from 20 to 100 feet in the air and almost completely submerge in their attempt to catch fish, then take it back to a tree perch or the nest for their meal.

While ospreys are generally more tolerant of disturbance than other raptors, they will defend their nest from any intruders. It is important to maintain a reasonable distance from the nest to avoid too much disturbance that could cause the birds to abandon their eggs or young.

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