BC Hydro sometimes takes a real shellacking in public so when Jennifer Walker-Liaison, the corporation’s community liaison here in Revelstoke, told me she had some photos of a Hydro crew’s efforts to help local ospreys I paid close attention. Good on BC Hydro for the way they dealt with these animals.
By Jennifer Walker-Larsen
BC Hydro Community Liaison Officer
Revelstoke powerline technicians have completed the successful relocation of a large 6-foot-wide, 300 pound-plus osprey nest on a BC Hydro distribution pole to its new home – a 55-foot-high nesting platform installed nearby on the bank of the Illecillewaet River in Revelstoke.
To move the nest, power line technicians Rick Carr, Al Moloney, and Terry Dufloth first cut the power to the lines and grounded them to make it safe. With assistance from BC Hydro’s Environment staff Adam Croxall, the crew pushed grounding rods underneath the nest to create a lattice that would provide the support needed to keep the nest in one piece during the move. Then the crews used a bucket truck to sling the nest to the nesting platform and carefully lower it into place.
Ospreys are fish-eating raptors that most commonly build their nests at the top of tall, dead trees. They feel most protected when they sit above everything and have a clear view and easy access to their fishing spots. Power poles can be an attractive location for ospreys to build a nest but it is not a safe home. Energized lines running underneath the nest can create a safety hazard for the birds, BC Hydro customers, and line crews. When the osprey pair returns to Revelstoke after winter migration they are very likely to use the nest again because the nesting platform is now the highest spot in the same area.
The nest relocation required a 3-hour planned outage to a number of customers in the Johnson Heights area east of Revelstoke to allow crews to safely do the job. BC Hydro thanks affected customers for their patience and help to protect Revelstoke osprey. Osprey and their nests are protected by BC legislation.
Here is a series of photos of this rescue operation: