SALMON ARM – They may look harmless, but nests atop electrical poles can catch fire, causing big problems for both people and birds.
That’s why BC Hydro crews had to perform a different kind of job recently in Salmon Arm.
Workers moved two large osprey nests from the tops of power poles to get the birds out of harm’s way.
BC Hydro natural resource specialist Arne Langston says osprey nests on power poles can cause fires and power outages, particularly in wet weather.
“They start to get electricity running across the sticks on the nests and then that starts to smolder and causes a fire,” said Langston.
The whole nest can burn up completely, putting the osprey and their young in danger.
In this case, the two osprey nests had recently caused three power outages.
“None of these two nests burnt completely, but they did start to smolder,” said Langston.
So last week the utility moved the nests which each contained two eggs.
Crews first carefully removed the eggs and then lifted the entire nests off the poles.
Both nests were moved to new specially-built platforms, and the eggs were carefully replaced.
“Parents don’t like to see their nest being effected so they were watching very closely, particularly the ones in downtown Salmon Arm, they were nearby the entire time,” said Langston.
Langston said the adult osprey found the new nests about an hour after the move.
If all goes well, the new osprey chicks should hatch around the end of June.