Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration would really like to take the ship that's docked at the Sand Point Facility on Lake Washington out into the ocean for some research. Unfortunately, a pair of federally protected ospreys have other plans.
The birds have built a nest on part of the ship.
And since ospreys are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, moving their nests legally is very tricky. Still, whatever hassles are involved with moving the nest now (while there are no eggs in it) will be minuscule compared to what will happen once it's no longer empty.
NOAA officials asked the Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife for advice and were told they could hire an expert to move the nest, but they didn't have much time.
Washington state law allows for the destruction or relocation of osprey nests under certain circumstances, as long as there are no eggs in the nest. Experts say the NOAA nest is empty for now, but it will have to be moved before eggs are laid.
Apparently work is being done to build a platform nearby where the osprey nest can be moved. The work is supposed to be done by week's end.
No word on if the ospreys will politely adjust their reproduction timetable to coincide with the platform contractors' schedule.