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Osprey nest removed from church steeple after decade of residence

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HOLMES BEACH, FL (WWSB) - After a decade of nesting, an osprey's home has been removed from the top of a church on Anna Maria Island and community members want to know why.

When residents would drive past Gloria Dei Lutheran Church just off of Marina Drive, they'd stop, take pictures and just admire the nest that used to sit on top of the steeple. During nesting season, residents say you could see the babies in the nest, so as soon as it was removed the community noticed.

Briana Gagnier lives next to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. She says about a week and a half ago, the church was tented for termites. The nest was removed and was never put back.

"I am just confused as to why they even took it down," Gagnier says. "I understand that through the process of tenting they had to take it and remove it for a little bit, but I don't understand why they put the deterrents in."

The nest was replaced with several deterrents, so that the osprey cannot rebuild its nest.

Gagnier wants the church to take the deterrents down so that the osprey can rebuild.

"It doesn't cost any money," Gagnier says. "It doesn't take much."

Now, the bird that has spent almost a decade perching on that steeple can be seen flying around the church or sitting on top of the telephone pole right out front.

ABC 7's Jess Doudrick knocked on the church's door on Monday, but no one answered. She also reached out to several administrators, including the pastor, by phone about why the nest was taken down and never put back. She never heard back.

"It is just kind of frustrating why no one can get answers, why they put the deterrents up and why they won't let the birds nest," Gagnier says.

The church did not get a permit to take down the nest, but according to FWC, they don't need one unless there are eggs or young in the nest. FWC also recommends that property owners put up some type of deterrent after the nest is removed to deter the osprey from rebuilding at the same site.