"Oh no!" There's an osprey trying to build a nest on a PUD 3 power pole!
Osprey and their nests are protected, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in charge of the conservation and management of these birds. Osprey often use utility poles for nesting. As a result, there is danger to the birds, and a risk system reliability from outages and damage to equipment. Osprey have a high risk of electrocution when they build nests or perch on power poles. Their nearly 5-foot wingspan can complete a circuit between closely spaced, energized equipment, or between one energized wire and a neutral or ground wire.
The nest was not yet "active" when we found it. It was still being built and there were no eggs or young present. We wanted to ensure this preferred nest site is not lost from the regional population, and reduce the likelihood of the resident pair re-nesting on the utility structure. To that end, PUD 3 employees designed, built, and set a platform near the developing nest. The nesting material was relocated to the platform, completely intact.
Osprey usually arrive in Mason County in April and stay until late August or early September. They have high nesting site fidelity, meaning they will return to the same site year after year.