Osprey Deterrents: What Deters and What Doesn’t?

by Jeff Nichols

Ospreys are determined birds!

Each spring they come back to the same nesting site whether it be in a tree, a utility pole, roof or some other structure that meets their requirements and each spring utility companies, city services, transportation departments and others try to convince them to move. While there are many deterrents out on the market, the Ospreys seem to be able to find their way around them and build their nests regardless.

Some companies build a nesting structure close to where the birds nest and hope that they like it better. That works really well for easy going birds who don’t mind moving. But what do you do when they really like that utility pole better and don’t want to move?


Owl decoys often don’t work as a deterrent for Ospreys because once they figure out it is no threat, the decoy becomes part of the nest. Photo by Mike Nichols.

Companies try traffic cones, spikes, bulky coverings, and even owl decoys. Depending on the birds, that might work, but probably doesn’t. The traffic cones give the birds a side area that they can still build on, the spikes work until the bird gets enough nesting on top that it doesn’t bother them. The bulky coverings cover the entire top of the pole, so that workers have to remove it each time any work needs to be done, and the owl, well it just becomes part of the Osprey family. So what does work?

Osprey 007

Notice that you have an un-obstructive view of the top of the pole and on the pole to the right is the Osprey who had previously tried to put a nest on that pole. (Also see the video showing this osprey and poles). Photo by Mike Nichols.

The “OFF”-Sprey has been in development for the past few years and has been tested under 90 mph winds, rain, snow and several Ospreys trying to build nests. Installed correctly, every “OFF”-Sprey device has been successful in deterring the Osprey and forcing them to move on. The “OFF”-Sprey was developed for maximum coverage, with minimal interference to workers and gives the workers the ability to visually inspect the tops of structures without their obstructed. What does that mean? It means that the device has covered the structure and not allowed the birds to build a nest there, while allowing full view of the area covered and allowed enough space that a worker can still work on the structure when needed. If the device is need to be removed for whatever reason, it has been designed for quick and easy removal and installed again. It also does not obstruct thermal imaging when looking for hot spots on top of utility structures.

Osprey 10-7-13 007

An un-obstructed view and the ability to still work on the utility pole makes the “OFF”-Sprey Raptor Deterrent an easy to work around device. Photo by Mike Nichols.

How long does the device last?

The very first device was put up three years ago when it was observed that an Osprey was building a nest on a utility pole and was recently taken down to check the condition. The device was still in perfect working order and was re-installed on the same structure. Since it was installed the first time, there has not been another nest built on that location. During the quality inspection, we routinely have taken the devices down to do spot checks on their condition and have had very impressive results with not one being damaged as of yet. That is not saying that hurricane force winds or other natural events will not knock over a structure and damage the device.

“During the development and testing of this product, the “OFF”-Sprey has been removed on several occasions to inspect the durability of the device,” Mike Nichols, creator of “OFF”-Sprey Raptor Deterrent, said. “We were very impressed with how well they hold up under all conditions.”

While some other types of deterrent devices work sometimes, and often others not at all, installed correctly, the “OFF”-Sprey Raptor Deterrent has worked every time. It’s light weight but sturdy construction can keep the Ospreys off of structures that pose a hazard to the birds and ultimately cause problems for utility service reliability. This alternative combined with a man-made structure can insure that the birds won’t be injured or killed and utility structures won’t be damaged or destroyed costing thousands of dollars in equipment, time and loss of power. It will also mean that the birds have a alternative nesting area to nest and thrive.

Here is a good video of an Osprey‬ trying to build a nest on a utility pole that has the “OFF”-Sprey installed.

See all of the “OFF”-Sprey products at www.offsprey.com .

For more information or to place an order contact Power Supply Company LLC

* The "OFF"-Sprey Raptor Deterrent and any configuration of is 
protected under the U.S. Patent laws and any unauthorized use or 
attempts to copy will be considered a violation and will be dealt 
with accordingly.


3 thoughts on “Osprey Deterrents: What Deters and What Doesn’t?

  1. Pingback: Osprey Deterrents: What Deters and What Doesn’t? | Jeff Nichols' Outdoors

  2. Pingback: Ospreys: Their Success Means Increased Responsibility | "OFF"-Sprey Raptor Deterrent

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