Elkin ‘for the birds’

Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter

December 23, 2013

Elkin’s first osprey platform was erected on Friday afternoon in Crater Park.

The platform signifies another accomplishment for the town of Elkin and Elkin Valley Trails Association advocates who are taking steps at making Elkin a trail town and more wildlife-friendly.

Elkin trailblazers have been observing recent activity in various trees and noticed an osprey.

Officials approached the town and asked to place a platform so the osprey may have a conducive environment to reproduce.

“They like to find a high places so snakes can’t get their eggs,” said Dr. William Blackley, chairman of EVTA. “The pole and platform has been sheathed hoping to remain free from raccoons and anti-snake.”

For the osprey, why Elkin?

“I think the osprey knows what we know. The section of the Yadkin River has been designated for trophy water. That’s because of its outstanding fishing for small mouth bass. You sort of think that if you’re an osprey and you need to feed, it’s right there for you. Crater Park is prime,” said Blackley.

According to EVTA, B.D. Reece first noticed the osprey. Joe Mickey of EVTA and Adam McComb, parks and recreational director for the town of Elkin, helped pick the site out.

After town approval, Duke Energy donated the pole, erected it and placed the platform.

“We are thankful to Jerry Stroud and the rest of the Duke Energy team,” said Blackley.

The platform was constructed by volunteers affiliated with Elkin City Schools maintenance department.

Tate Collins of Duke Energy made final construction adjustments to the platform on Friday.

There are no guarantees with who gets residency, said the EVTA official.

“You never know what you can get up there. A bald eagle can declare the spot. Some type of wildlife is going to have to figure it out,” said Blackley.

Blackley said that Elkin is for the birds and EVTA and birdwatchers have identified 23 species in the neighborhood.

“If anyone in interested in joining a local bird watching group, we’re trying to help with that, too,” he said.

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or agonzalez@civitasmedia.com.