Newton Moore Senior High School students create osprey nests for Leschenault inlet

Project launch: City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan and Newton Moore Senior High School students Mikisa Knuckey and Barton Rankin. Photo: Thomas Munday.
Project launch: City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan and Newton Moore Senior High School students Mikisa Knuckey and Barton Rankin. Photo: Thomas Munday.

Students from Newton Moore Senior High School have devised an ingenious solution to assist osprey numbers. 

The Science Horizons specialist program class planned and put together two osprey nests, placed at Leschenault inlet close to the Power Boat Club and Sykes Foreshore Reserve.

The two nests were positioned 20 metres above the ground, with both poles donated by Western Power and erected by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. 

The students were involved in conducting background research, designing and constructing the nests, and finding the two chosen locations.

School representatives noted the initiative was key to preventing ospreys from making nests on man-made objects such as power poles. 

Newton Moore Year 9 student and Science Horizons participant Mikisa Knuckey said the students and teachers have a passion for the environment.

“Our teachers are a huge part of this, they’re amazing in letting us know about all of these environmental opportunities and it’s really amazing to see how many students will actually volunteer to do it and put their hands up to these kinds of things,” she said. 

Fellow student Barton Rankin said it was satisfying to see the project take shape. 

The City of Bunbury provided a $10,000 Habitat Grant for the project. 

City of Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan said it was positive seeing the school, City of Bunbury and private sector collaborate on an environmentally-beneficial initiative. 

“Newton Moore High School has long been associated with the city through their environmental work,” he said.

“This has been a longitudinal study they’ve done – so, over many years, successive classes have been involved in environmental studies here. 

“The more awareness that we can raise, particularly amongst our younger folk who can carry it on with them into their future years, the better, it’s a great project.” 

City of Bunbury Environmental Officer Orla O’Donnell said the specifically-made nests would assist osprey populations. 

“Osprey will nest in any location close to water, and usually quite high up, so these specially-made nests will give them an excellent environment for many years to come,” she said.

The project was also helped by community member John Cross, councillor Judy Jones and structural engineer Steve Woodhouse. 

An osprey

An osprey