State Treatment Protocol Highlights

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Osprey watching over its nest

An inactive osprey nest in one state is not always treated the same as an inactive osprey nest in another state. Please refer to the samples below highlighting the state requirements American Tower follows for the handling of osprey nests.


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) previously required a permit for the removal of inactive osprey nests. However, this requirement was recently eliminated and a permit is no longer needed to remove inactive osprey nests. Please note: a small population of osprey in Monroe County remain on the State Species of Concern list and a nest-removal permit is still required for the removal of inactive nests of osprey in this population.


While ospreys are not state listed as a threatened or endangered species in Mississippi, they are afforded additional protections under Mississippi Code Section 49-5-7 and are considered a state-protected species. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) has issued guidelines for maintenance at communication towers with raptor nests in both the non-active and active breeding seasons. During the active breeding season, from February- August, coordination with the MDWFP is required for any tower or ground-level work at tower sites with osprey nests.

New Jersey

Ospreys are listed as a threatened species and are afforded additional protections by the state. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Division of Fish & Wildlife has developed guidelines for maintenance at towers that support osprey nests. Nesting season begins in April and typically ends in late August, and no tower work may take place at an active nest site without a state and federal permit. In addition, all ground-level maintenance requests during active nesting season require prior notification to the NJDEP. When an active nest is encountered, American Tower can assist in any agency consultation to determine if and how work may proceed before the end of nesting season.


Osprey nesting season in Virginia runs from April 15 to September 15, and during this time active nests may not be disturbed without a permit and inactive nest removals require coordination the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. Outside of these dates, inactive nests may be removed without prior notification or coordination with the state agency.