Thursday, March 2, 2017

BGE Prepares for the Arrival of the Ospreys

Every year, about this time (St. Patrick's Day is considered the date) the Ospreys arrive in the Chesapeake Bay region from their southern wintering grounds. They immediately begin building nest on all sorts of things, including navigation aids, pilings,water towers, power poles and even, when they're desperate, trees. They create all kind of havoc on power lines, causing outages, and sometimes killing themselves in the process. All in all, a lose-lose proposition. Baltimore Gas and Electric is planning:

BGE’s Osprey Watch Program Protects Birds and Electric Service Reliability
To keep ospreys safe and help BGE maintain quality electricity power, Osprey Watch allows customers to email BGE directly (ospreywatch@bge.com) if they identify a nest on or near power lines and poles. BGE will dispatch a trained crew to either shield the raptors from the equipment or remove unoccupied nests. Customers reported 23 nests to BGE in 2016.

“The first year of Osprey Watch was a great success. Through this innovation, we listened to our customers and engaged with them in a common mission: keeping the region’s ospreys safe and preventing outages. Working together to create programs that benefit customers and wildlife is a great example of BGE’s smart energy approach,” said Alexander Núñez, BGE’s senior vice president of regulatory and external affairs and member of the board of Audubon Maryland-DC. “BGE is committed to environmental stewardship and has a comprehensive plan to protect wildlife. Osprey Watch enables everyone to help maintain a safe nesting season for ospreys on the Chesapeake Bay.”

How customers can help:

  • When you see an osprey nest on BGE equipment, report the location of the osprey nest via ospreywatch@bge.com and provide the following information:
  • If the pole is easily accessible, please send us the pole number, located on a placard near eye level on the pole.
  • If the pole is not easily accessible, please send us the nearest address to the pole and attach photos of the pole (taken from different perspectives if possible).

Once a nest is reported, BGE will remove the nest if no birds or eggs are present. If possible, the nest will be relocated. If the nest is inhabited, shielding will be placed on the electric equipment to mitigate the risks of contact. BGE adheres to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Bald Eagle Protection Act and has a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Special Purpose Utility Permit covering all work involving active nests.
I haven't seen any yet, but there have been reports of Osprey back in Maryland. Given the  warm weather we've had this winter, it would not be a shock. Typically, I start seeing them near our shores a little later than St. Patrick's Day. I don't know why our Ospreys are retarded.

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