When ospreys choose to create a nest amongst high-powered electrical lines high atop utility poles, linemen know what to do. Keeping wildlife safe is part of their routine.
“We can’t touch a nest until the birds vacate,” said Jarrod Vogel, a lineman for Pike Electric, which is a contractor for Duke Energy.
He and two other co-workers were in Gulfport on Friday, August 3 putting the finishing touches on part of a work order that included the relocation of a large bird nest that weighed an estimated 125 pounds.
“Ospreys are semi seasonal so they’ll switch from nest to nest,” he said. “They’ll come back in a couple of weeks.”
And, he should know.
Following wildlife regulations is part of the job. In Vogel’s case, he’s also lived in the area all of his life so his co-workers turn to him when they have questions about birds.
Near the Catherine A. Hickman Theater in Clymer Park, at the corner of Beach Boulevard and 26th Avenue South, the crew replaced an aging utility pole, did some high-powered line work and installed a new pole nearby with a secure nest cradle at the top where the large nest could be relocated.
“For the birds, we install a new pole 10 to 15 feet away from the original one without endangering them,” said Vogel. “We keep it as close as possible in the same area while keeping them out of harm’s reach because live wires will still be on the original pole.”