MISSOULA, Mont. -

A pair of osprey have begun building a nest on a man-made platform along the Clark Fork River in Missoula that biologists reserved for the fish-hawks after a pair of early-bird Canada geese laid claim to the spot last year.

According to University of Montana biologist Erick Greene, he removed the "goose excluder" from the platform last Friday, under the watchful eye of a female osprey. The "goose excluder" was a chicken-wire cone put up in March.

The nest overlooks Ogren-Allegiance Park, home to the Missoula Osprey of the Pioneer Baseball League.

Canada geese migrate north about three weeks ahead of osprey. Last spring, a goose built a nest on the site, forcing the osprey to raise their family on a nearby NorthWestern Energy utility pole. Utility workers kept the nest trimmed to prevent electrocutions.