BGE Trying To Keep Osprey Away From Live Electric Lines

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Keeping the power on and protecting nature. That’s created a challenge for BGE.

Alex DeMetrick shows what it takes to keep ospreys away from live electric lines.

The osprey nest is on a power pole in the parking lot of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. That’s a problem.

“Osprey nests can fall on our wires and cause outages, so that’s something we want to prevent proactively,” said Richard Yost, BGE spokesperson.

That means first insulating dangerous connections and then building and lifting a platform up to the nest. That sent a couple of upset osprey into a holding pattern.

The purpose was not to destroy their home, but to move it to a new pole.

BGE set up away from the electric lines.

“To help protect these birds,” said Randy Lopata, BGE lineman.

That means picking up the sticks that fell to the ground during the move and placing them back for the osprey’s to rearrange.

“Yeah. They’ll take the sticks, move the large branches out from the center, line the center with grass for the eggs and raise young again this spring,” said Greg Kappler, BGE environmental scientist.

BGE’s nest moving is also giving the Chesapeake Bay Foundation an opportunity to share a bit of nature.

“This is the first time since we’ve been here we’re hoping to actually have a web cam and see inside the nest,” said Tom Zolper, Chesapeake Bay Foundation.

“Hopefully in about a week or two, we’ll revisit this platform here and if the osprey has taken to it, we know we’ve done a good job,” said Lopata.

A photo from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation shows they’ve already taken to it.

It hopes to have web video up and running by the end of the week.

BGE says there have been 123 osprey-related power outages since 2006.

To report nests on power poles, email ospreywatch@bge.com.

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