Osprey Watch: How you can help protect birds and prevent electric outages

Through crowd-sourcing initiative, BGE identifies and safely removes osprey nests found on electric equipment

Story Topics

ALL: Community Environment

In early spring each year, Maryland welcomes back ospreys returning to settle in breeding areas around the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately, one favorite osprey nesting spot—the top of utility poles—poses a danger to birds while raising the risk of disruptions to electric service.

BGE encourages the community to lend a hand through Osprey Watch, a crowd-sourcing initiative to identify the location of nests built on electric equipment. Customers have reported 100 osprey nests since the program’s inception in 2016, and BGE is catching potential outage issues sooner as a result of the Osprey Watch program and seasonal inspections of equipment frequented by osprey.

Here’s how the program works: anyone who sees an osprey nest on BGE equipment may report it by emailing the following information to ospreywatch@bge.com:

  • The pole number, located on a placard near eye level on the pole (**Only if the pole is easily accessible**)
  • The nearest address to the pole, and photos of the pole taken from different perspectives (**If the pole is not easily accessible**)

Alternatively, osprey nest location information may be shared over the phone with BGE’s customer service team at 1-800-685-0123.

When a nest is reported, trained BGE crews take measures that keep the birds and their young safe and curtail the potential for ospreys and their nests to cause electric outages. Crews follow all federal and local wildlife regulations in the process.

More information about BGE’s other environmental work is available at bge.com. Read Audubon’s coverage of Osprey Watch at audubon.org.