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BC Hydro crew moves osprey nest to safer, taller location

BC Hydro power line technicians Richard Barrie (left) and Tyler Allen (right) played a large role in the osprey nest’s relocation.

None of the participants had ever helped out with this kind of move before. They weren't carrying couches and tables and mattresses. They were carrying a 300-pound osprey nest.

BC Hydro employees were able to move the nest, which was empty at the time, from a power pole on the outskirts of Prince George to a new 60-foot cedar pole just a few feet away.

Ospreys prefer to roost at the highest point in an area. When the migratory birds return to the region near the Nechako River, they will have a safer home. The nest had been just inches away from energized power lines, posing a safety hazard for the occupants and for BC Hydro customers and line crews.

Update and photo: Osprey returns to its nest

Power line technicians Richard Barrie and Tyler Allen (pictured here, Barrie is on the left) were able to keep the nest intact as they used a crane to lift it to a cedar plank platform constructed on the taller, dedicated pole.

Five other BC Hydro employees provided ground assistance.

"BC Hydro has moved a number of osprey nests off their facilities and it is Hydro policy to eventually move all nests to standing nest platforms where possible," said Brent Meger, Natural Resource Specialist in Prince George. "This work benefits the well-being of the birds and our PLTs who need to work on the poles – it's a win-win situation for everybody."

The new 60-foot cedar pole is five feet higher than the old one in order to attract the osprey to this new location when they return north from winter migration. These birds prefer to roost at the highest point.

The actual move was completed in two hours, but was the result of several weeks of planning. The Ministry of Environment granted approval for the move and an easement was obtained from the property owner.

A fibreglass bird guard was placed atop the old pole to prevent any osprey from rebuilding there.

Source: BC Hydro News