According to the folks at PSEG Long Island, it’s a win-win. A recent press release states that the utility provider has “carefully relocated” more than 20 existing osprey nests, both to protect the birds and also to improve the electric company’s reliability.
“We have identified more than 20 locations across Long Island in the last couple of months and have provided new platform homes or resolutions to keep the returning osprey safe,” said John O’Connell, vice president of Transmission and Distribution, PSEG Long Island. “Within days of completing the platforms, we were pleased to see the birds return and begin building new nests on them.”
The nests, located around the East End — in Southold, Mattituck, Riverhead, Westhampton, Water Mill, and Montauk — were discovered on electrical equipment during standard annual inspections. PSEG Long Island moved nearly two dozen osprey nests from electrical facilities in time for egg-laying season, over the course of a couple of months.
Ospreys — which at one point were perilously close to being endangered — instinctively seek lofty places for their nests, often choosing utility poles and transmission structures. When ospreys build a nest on electrical equipment, it puts the nest in danger of catching fire, which can cause significant damage and outages to customers, as well has harm to the ospreys.
The birds, which have a large wingspan, are at high risk of electrocution. The installation of nesting platforms provides a safe nesting area for the osprey away from vital electrical infrastructure.
O’Connell continued, “We want to help ensure these wonderful birds continue to return to the area year after year while, at the same time, protecting the reliability of the energy grid. This was a great opportunity to do both.”