The ospreys that once called a nest on Bolding Bridge home before it was removed April 30 by the Department of Transportation have struck back.
And this time, in the battle of man versus animal, the animals may have won out.
Teri Pope, spokeswoman for the Georgia DOT, confirmed reports of two osprey nests atop the Dawsonville Highway bridge on Friday. She said this time, the DOT is leaving them alone.
"It’s official; the ospreys have a summer vacation home on the lake," Pope said. "Their industrious mom has already built two nests back."
The nests were originally
removed to make way for repairs to the bridge after an accident with a truck left the lower crossbeams bent. With the nest gone, it cleared the way for repairs to be made without first involving several different state agencies.
The ospreys nest there once a year before migrating south, and the birds fall under the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, protected under its migratory birds division. A permit is required to remove an osprey nest under certain conditions.
"What I understand is once the egg is there, there is a long period that I cannot get in there to do that bridge," said Mike Clements, the state bridge maintenance engineer, in a May 4 interview with The Times. "So what we had to do was take care of the potential problem of having an egg there so that we are able to get in there and work."
But Pope now says there is a chance there are eggs in the new nests, and they are working with the Department of Natural Resources to monitor the ospreys. Once the babies have left for the season, she said, DOT will devise a plan for repair work.
One nest is above the westbound lane, and the other is on the opposite side, built on the outside vertical members of the bridge, Pope said.
"Both have views of the lake," she said, adding that she has received a lot of calls from concerned citizens. "As long as there are eggs, we will (leave them alone)."