No Vacancy for Ospreys on Utility Poles

Osprey Interference And Utility Service Reliability

Each year utility companies look back on their electrical outages from the previous year and attempt to determine how they can become more efficient in their delivery of electrical service. Some of these outages are caused by vegetation growth, storms, or simply equipment deterioration over the years.

Many of these can’t be predicted.

An increasing number of outages are being caused by animal interference. Areas have been developed and these animals have lost some of their normal habitat causing this problem as illustrated in this video

Many companies keep statistics relevant to these type of animal-caused outages. Often times even their companies’ bond rating and their subsequent borrowing ability is based on this. Reliability factors and length of customer outages are often considered during the bond rating process. This is not including the factor of the customer satisfaction of their rate payers.

Cleaner water in many areas have allowed the growth in population of Ospreys. It has even allowed re-introduction of Ospreys into areas that had previously been void of nesting populations. Often platforms are constructed and the birds relate to these as their normal nesting locations. Unfortunately the platforms bear an all-to-familiar resemblance to utility poles and equipment. Often the same materials used to build utility lines were also used during the platform construction.

With the increase in growth of Osprey populations, then came the problem of how to protect and subsequently encourage these birds of prey to not mistake utility poles that have high voltage energized equipment as a potential nesting sites. This has become very sensitive area and State and Federal protection requirements have been established for their continued successful existence. If they are fortunate enough to avoid electrocution or contact during the initial construction on utility poles, the electrocution and fire potential then increases as the nest is added to. Pole fires and even death of mature birds as well as chicks that are nest-bound are too often a result of continued building from year to year.

 

The Off-Sprey Raptor Deterrent was designed to help address these problems.

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The device is ecofriendly. Initially it limits access to the cross arms preventing phase to phase contact during take-off and landing of the Osprey. The can also be installed on poles that are frequented by Bald Eagles and other large birds of prey and limit their phase to phase contact potential. The ease of installation of the device and the dielectric materials that it is made of are two the primary features.

 

No modification to the existing pole top configuration is needed.

The failed attempts to build their nests where the device is installed has helped to encourage the Ospreys to move on to more suitable locations that do not pose these electrical hazards. It eliminated the need for utility crews to remove the nests over and over again and eliminates all human contact with the birds.

Many companies offer cover-up materials to help prevent electrical contact with the birds, but often they are costly, labor intensive, and inhibit visual access to the equipment that they are isolating the birds from. The equipment and wires can not readily be visually inspected without removal of the cover-up materials. Infrared scans often conducted by utilities, that use cover-ups, are also affected and often these scans produce false or inaccurate result.

The ease of installation and the ability for adjustment of the installed device make this the most economical and successful deterrent available. We can modify the device to fit almost any situation that a utility company might run in to. There are two main designs ( OG1 & OG3), but these can be modified for specific and unique situations. They can also be used if unwanted nesting is occurring on building air handling units and even chimneys. Basically, any place that they can nest we can provide a solution to deter their activity.

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