Work crews relocate osprey nest so work can continue on I-4 Ultimate

Bird experts say many species are finding new homes in the urban landscape

ORLANDO, Fla. – Workers on the I-4 Ultimate had a run-in with Mother Nature recently and it led to an unexpected side project.

Crews were hard at work at the busy construction site by Lake Ivanhoe alongside I-4 when they noticed something a little unusual.


The crew was inspecting an overhead highway sign that was scheduled to be removed as part of the I-4 Ultimate project, when they found a bird nest. But not just any nest, this one happened to be an osprey nest.


We spoke with Dianna Flynt, Rehabilitation Supervisor, at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland who explained this is becoming more and more common as we increase our urban expanse.


"As long as that's on the increase we're going to have more issues," she continues "where they need to get into the cell tower they need to move a sign."


Workers didn't find anyone at home inside this nest but osprey are one of the species protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.


So even in the middle of a major construction project, engineers had to find a way to comply with guidelines and relocate the nest.


Flynt says finding nests in locations like a sign over the highway is becoming less of a rarity


"Naturally they would be nesting in more of your dead trees or dying trees but they've managed to learn and adapt to man-made structures. So we see them all the time on top of telephone poles, using cell tower nests."


That's the reason why workers with I- 4 Ultimate are trained to interact with wildlife on the job.


Regulations said the new nest location had to be with in 300 feet of the original.


Crews say it was a process but once permits were in hand…a new spot was found right next to Lake Ivanhoe. Located about 30 feet off the ground, it has a nice new fiberglass dish to take the place of the highway sign.



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