LMU Osprey Nest Offers Fish-Eating Hawks a Home Near the Ballona Wetlands

A 60-foot-high perch beckoning ospreys to a new home near the Ballona Wetlands will be dedicated at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019, at Loyola Marymount University.

The installation was erected in July at the edge of LMU’s Westchester campus. Biologists hope that, in time, the fish-eating hawks will find the nest box and use it as a nursery, providing valuable research opportunities for LMU faculty members and students.

The dedication ceremony will include a blessing and remarks from Randall Roche, S.J., director of LMU’s Center for Ignatian Spirituality; Robert Dorame, tribal chairman of the Gabrielino-Tongva Indians of California; and President’s Professor of Biology Eric Strauss, executive director of LMU’s Center for Urban Resilience.

Ospreys are large hawks with long, narrow wings and legs that build nests in the open on poles and dead trees, often over water. While local bird surveys have identified ospreys in the Ballona Wetlands Ecological Reserve, they are not currently breeding and nesting in the state-owned habitat, Strauss said. Their populations were decimated by pesticide use and are now on the recovery nationwide.

Having this important avian predator in Ballona is a major step in the ecological recovery of the wetlands, Strauss said.

The LMU nesting pole was created through a partnership with LMU CURes, Southern California Edison, and the nonprofit Gottlieb Foundation.

WHAT: LMU dedicates its new osprey nesting pole.

WHERE: Grass area east of the Tongva Memorial along the bluff of LMU’s Westchester campus, 1 LMU Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

WHEN: 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019.