Bird’s-eye view

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Bird’s-eye view

The osprey watching over the campus.

The osprey watching over the campus.

Office of Communications

The osprey watching over the campus.

Office of Communications

Office of Communications

The osprey watching over the campus.

Dennis Lopez, Staff writer

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Nested on one of the light posts overlooking the San Diego Mesa College football stadium and tennis courts, are the resident osprey.

The pair first appeared at Mesa in 2001 and liked the campus enough to start a family. Nesting, let alone starting a family above stadium lights, presented the potential for disaster for the osprey. Jason and Gene Botticelli, Angelo Pellegrini, and Robert Renfro of the Facilities Services staff then sprang into action. The group constructed an artificial nest measuring seven feet in diameter. Utilizing a crane, the nest was installed atop the light post.

The osprey relies heavily on fish, which is why they typically nest in close proximity to water sources. National Geographic puts the osprey’s wingspan between 5 and 6 feet; that’s wider than a brand new Honda Civic.

The osprey serve as a reminder of the vast ecosystem surrounding Mesa College. Biology professor Christina Burnett had this to say: “Since our population is growing, learning about the organisms that do live here, what they do, understanding them, having respect for them, is really what we need to do.”

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