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Osprey Nests

Protecting birds from harm near electrical poles

OspreyOur crews take great care to move osprey nests found in dangerous locations and provide alternate nesting sites for these birds.

Ospreys tend to build their nests near water on the highest perch they can find. In some cases, the highest perch will be transmission or distribution poles.

This is a dangerous situation for both the ospreys and our customers. If ospreys spread their wings while perched on the nest, there is great potential for the wings to create a “hot” connection between the electrical wires. This could result in the electrocution of the osprey, as well as power outages.

We install platforms near electric poles where nests are found. Platforms are typically erected on old, retired utility poles. Crews set the pole with the platform attached. Then they “seed” the platform with some of the old nesting material to lure the osprey to the platform and away from the utility pole.

Removing an osprey nest - Alliant EnergyOnce nesting season is over and the birds have left, our crews remove osprey nests to prevent birds from reusing the nest next season. If eggs are found, we work with trained DNR and US Fish & Wildlife Service personnel so no harm comes to the eggs.

Careful consideration must be taken when attempting to remove a nest from the pole. Before beginning nest removal, power lines must be de-energized so that employees have safe working conditions.

To encourage ospreys not to nest on utility poles, we may also install diverters. Diverters are pieces of equipment that make it difficult for the birds to build a nest on the utility pole.