Barrington teen gives osprey a new place to nest

Photos by Rich Dionne
 Barrington High School sophomore Charley Winner (left) and his family and friends put up an osprey landing nest along the Palmer River, in Warren.

A local Eagle has given osprey a new place to nest.

On a recent Sunday morning,

Photos by Rich Dionne
Barrington High School sophomore Charley Winner (left) and his family and friends put up an osprey landing nest along the Palmer River, in Warren.

The projects marks one of Charley’s most important steps towards becoming an Eagle Scout, the highest honor in scouting.

Charley said he looked at numerous options for his project but he is “definitely a bird person” and there was one unique aspect of building the landing that made the effort especially alluring.

“It’s a lasting thing,” said Charley while hiking through the marsh.

“It helps and it’s like, if you clear a trail, in five years it might not be used at all and someone has to clear it again. The osprey platform is here until something tears it down, be that a hurricane or just deterioration of the wood 40 years from now.”

Charley said ospreys tend to make their nests in dead trees though development has resulted in some nests popping on high tension towers or other potentially dangerous locations. Charley said ospreys nest for life and return to where they were hatched to raise their own eggs every year.

The nest, however, wasn’t built in a day and Charley certainly didn’t tackle the project alone. A number of other Troop 6 scouts lent a hand to the effort, as did a few members of Charley’s family. Some lent a hand to hoisting the 16-foot tall structure into place while others helped assemble the platform piece by piece in Charley’s garage.

Funding for the project was provided by the Warren Conservation Commission and Lowe’s in Seekonk provided materials at-cost to reduce the expense. A couple of family friends even helped out by delivering 500 pounds worth of cement across the river from Barrington that now serve as the structure’s foundation.

The platform’s design was offered up by Warren Conservation Commission member Butch Lombardi, who was on hand to see the project’s completion. Mr. Lombardi said that while he’s worked on a few similar projects in the past Charley’s was the first Eagle Scout initiative.

Charley said the design is a bit different from others you might see, such as those in 100 Acre Cove. It includes a single support beam and some metal sheathing, for example, that makes it near impossible for unwinged predators to scale the nest.

Outside of the actual construction, an important element of any Eagle Scout project is that it promotes leadership. Charley said he demonstrated this by organizing his fellow Scouts.

Charley’s project also provided him experience working with governmental agencies. Charley’s work began with a request to the Warren Land Conservation Trust, which owns the land where the nest was constructed. Charley also had to navigate a permitting process with the Coastal Resources Management Council.

Charley must now will review his project with an Eagle Scout board to see if he has completed everything required of the rank.

Charley said he is looking forward to achieving his goal but scouting has been an important part of life and he anticipates the end of that journey might be a bit bittersweet.

“Scouts has taken up eight years of my life so far. So I don’t know how it’s going to be,” Charley said.

“It’s going to be interesting.”