Big Sky Roundup

NorthWestern Energy asks public to report osprey building nests on power lines

By: - May 3, 2021 2:14 pm

(Provided by Tina Nord,, for The Daily Montanan)

Osprey nests can cause power outages and even fires, and their proximity to energized equipment puts the birds at risk of electrocution, NorthWestern Energy said in a news release.

The company said it has installed hundreds of platforms to maintain service reliability and to provide a safe place for ospreys to raise their offspring.

This is the time of year when osprey begin to build nests, and NorthWestern Energy asks member of the public who observe nest building on power poles to report their observations by emailing or calling 888-467-2669.

When NorthWestern learns of an osprey nest on one of its poles, the utility implements the  Avian Protection Plan, which includes removing the nest if it does not have osprey or osprey eggs in it, and in some cases, providing an alternative platform for the osprey.

NorthWestern said it then incorporates industry best practices developed by the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee, which is a collaboration among the Edison Electric Institute, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and member utilities. The primary goal of an APP is to reduce bird injuries and mortalities from power line collisions and electrocutions.

Implementing APP includes designing avian-friendly power poles, training line crews, providing information on federal regulations protecting migratory birds and increasing public awareness.

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