Rearranging for the Red-Tails
June 29, 2021
The Illuminating Company (CEI) recently partnered with wildlife officials to protect an active red-tailed hawk nest – which contains several eggs waiting to hatch – situated on a transformer near an energized power line in Strongsville, Ohio.
This proactive work was intended to protect the birds’ nest while also preventing power disruptions and fire hazards that could result from a wet nest capable of conducting electricity.
To keep the birds safe until the hatchlings fledge in the fall, CEI employees partnered with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to install a new pole and transformer adjacent to the existing equipment. Without impacting service to customers, power was redirected to the new equipment and the infrastructure around the nest was de-energized.
“Disturbing or removing nests can be a complicated task due to environmental regulations,” said Amy Ruszala, advanced scientist. “When a nest with eggs is situated on our equipment and poses a serious threat to the birds’ safety and our service reliability, we work with state and federal wildlife officials to devise a plan to keep the birds out of harm’s way and the power flowing reliably to our customers.”
When the birds head south for the winter, line workers plan to remove the transformer that has the nest and install nesting deterrents atop the new electrical equipment to discourage birds in the future.
In recent years, the company has made great strides enhancing our avian protection efforts, including drone inspections and deployment of a mobile app that allows utility personnel to report avian issues in real time.
These ongoing efforts continue to help reduce power outages caused by nesting birds