Osprey nest at New Jersey fire station silences alarm


While ospreys nest atop this fire siren in Spring Lake, New Jersey, first responders must rely on pagers and cellphones to avoid disturbing the birds. (Wayne Parry/Associated Press)
May 8

A pair of ospreys has quieted a fire alarm in one New Jersey shore town.

The raptors have built a nest inside the fire siren in Spring Lake, New Jersey. By law, the nest can’t be disturbed. Ospreys are listed as a threatened species in New Jersey during their breeding season.

So the siren has been turned off for the spring and summer. Firefighters and paramedics will rely on pagers and cellphones to alert them to emergencies.

Borough Administrator Bryan Dempsey said a police officer notified him in March that an osprey appeared to be building a nest on the siren, which is mounted on a pole about 100 feet off the ground behind the police, fire and first aid squad headquarters.

“We had to shut off the siren for the rest of the season,” he said.

First responders in the resort town say things have been working smoothly so far. Spring Lake officials say they may need to create an alternate place nearby for the birds to nest next year.

“The issue is, once they pick a spot, they keep coming back to that spot,” he said. “We’ll do whatever we have to do to make sure they have a habitat to live in.”

The nest can’t be disturbed until September 1 at the earliest.

— Associated Press

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