Osprey are a Chesapeake Bay region crown jewels – and their return each March from breeding season causes nature lovers to gaze skyward.
The birds seek high ground for their nests to keep their young safe – including the tops of utility poles.
This can bring an unexpected problem for many who live along the Bay. As the osprey rebuild their nests, they can cause power outages when dropped sticks or sagging nests contact electric equipment.
This also endangers the birds.
To protect them, and prevent outages, BGE created Osprey Watch, a program that allows customers to directly notify BGE about nests they find on company equipment. And the program’s working – since the program’s launch in 2016, vigilant customers alerted BGE to more than 50 nests on electric equipment.
What happens next? A trained crew reviews the situation and take steps to both protect the birds and prevent potential power outages. Before any work, though, environmental experts ensure that all federal regulations are followed.
If no birds or eggs are in the nest, the crew removes it and places deterrents to prevent the ospreys’ return. If the nest is inhabited, shielding is installed to prevent contact with the equipment, protecting the birds. Once they leave for the fall, the nest is removed.
How can you notify BGE about a nest?
- Report the location of the osprey nest and submit photos via email@example.com.
- If the pole is easily accessible, send the pole number, located on a placard near eye level on the pole.
- Otherwise, send the nearest address to the pole.