DTE, DNR team up to move osprey nest from Berlin Township utility pole

Osprey couple built nest atop utility pole feeding power to Rockwood Landfill


BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The roar of a semi truck is all part of the sights and sounds of Berlin Township. But high up above the industrial area near the Rockwood Landfill sat a peaceful osprey nest on a utility pole.

With a 5-feet-6-inch wingspan, watching the bird soar is nothing short of breathtaking. However, where the pair of osprey built their nest is anything but.

"This is a crucial power feed for some of their pumps that is critical for their operation for the landfill, so they were concerned," said Jason Cousino, who has been helping the birds.

The goal on Wednesday was to get the birds and their babies off of the power lines and out of harm's way. Cousino is the man for the job. DTE Energy and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources teamed up to make that happen.

The 1st step was to build the birds a new home.

"Basically, all the same parts of the utility pole that would hold power lines, it will be the same replica over here, but safe," said Cousino.

Their new resting place will sit on the other side of the Rockwood Landfill, on state land. It's a wide-open space near water for feeding.

The osprey is a bird that nearly went extinct in Monroe County a few years ago. The effort to save the soaring birds continues to be great.

"They are a very special bird. They are very dependent on marshes and waterways, and as we have development and those areas disappeared, the birds disappeared, and we're trying to bring them back," said Zach Cooley, of the DNR.

The final step will be moving the nest. DTE will have to do that very carefully.