A partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Georgia Power in 1998 created long a lasting habitat for ospreys at Allatoona Lake. In 1995, a nesting pair of osprey (a large raptor which hunts fish) made home in the top of a dying pine tree near Victoria Day Use Area on Allatoona Lake. Ospreys utilized the same nest in 1996 and 1997.
According to Georgia Department of Natural Resources biologists, it was one of only two known nests in north Georgia at the time. In 1998, the tree began to decay and fall apart, endangering the nest. To provide a lasting nest site, Corps of Engineers Park Rangers planned to erect poles with nesting platforms on top. The Corps of Engineers partnered with the Georgia Power Company to secure 40-foot poles, equipment, and assistance in erecting the poles.
Park Rangers chose six locations around the lake where poles could be erected to attract new nesting osprey. It was agreed to erect the poles during the winter drawdown of the lake level. Today, all six platforms are still in use on the lake and are frequently used by this magnificent bird. It is estimated that 8-10 nesting pairs are found on Allatoona each year.
Although ospreys are not an endangered species in Georgia, they are on the threatened list. While most ospreys are found along the coastal regions, and more are making their nest in North Georgia where once good nesting sites were lacking. Ospreys prefer a high tree near the water with good visibility on all sides of the nest. By creating manmade nests, the Osprey Platform Project has attracted nesting pairs every year and has increased the number of ospreys in North Georgia.