First Energy works to leave osprey nest in place while protecting birds

Local News

Wildlife experts say the osprey eggs should hatch by the end of the month

TRANSFER, Pa. (WKBN) – It’s not uncommon to see osprey nests atop utility poles near bodies of water. First Energy captured drone video of a nest three years ago near the Shenango Reservoir.

The nest is on a pole along Route 18 in Transfer, not far from the lake.

“The birds can build a full-blown nest in just one day. That’s exactly what this bird did last week. It is now an active nest, ” said First Energy Spokesperson Lauren Siburkis.

Crews with Penn Power tried to remove the nest Monday and get it away from electric lines by installing a wooden platform on top of the existing pole and then placing the nest inside it. They quickly discovered the nest was too large, and the pole’s support arms would not have supported both it and the platform. The nest also contained eggs.

“It would be a greater threat for us to remove the nest and install the nest in the platform,” Siburkis said.

Unable to move the eggs to a sanctuary in Ohio because of permitting issues, crews then had to come up with another idea. They had to insulate the live lines to prevent both the osprey and their nest from coming into contact with them.

“The work that we are doing today is installing a special type of bird guard on our energized power lines and the equipment nearby,” Siburkis said.

Wildlife experts say the osprey eggs should hatch by the end of the month, if not sooner, and the adult osprey would eventually migrate south for the winter. At that point, utility crews will replace the pole with a new one capable of supporting the birds and their nest.

Siburkis said over the past several years, workers have installed more than a dozen platforms to keep the returning birds safe and prevent outages.

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