US Army Corps of Engineers
Pittsburgh District

Protecting power and a protected bird

Shenango River Lake
Published Feb. 25, 2013
In an attempt to discourage nesting on open poles, Penn Power has placed orange cones and flags on poles.

In an attempt to discourage nesting on open poles, Penn Power has placed orange cones and flags on poles.

Osprey nest on power poles in and around Shenango River Lake. Managers are working with other agencies and the power company to resolve the issue.

Osprey nest on power poles in and around Shenango River Lake. Managers are working with other agencies and the power company to resolve the issue.

     On Dec. 18, Shenango River Lake hosted a meeting that included representatives of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Penn Power, the Mercer County Conservation District, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Pittsburgh District to discuss options for resolving the ongoing issue of ospreys nesting on electrical power poles and transmission towers around the lake. 
     In 2012, the osprey population became prolific at Shenango, and Penn Power had to remove nests from power poles and towers.
     The nests can create potential problems with power line maintenance, and can be a fire hazard if the nesting material becomes saturated with water. Additionally, there is greater potential for bird fatalities from nesting on unprotected power poles and towers.
     In an attempt to discourage nesting on open poles, Penn Power has placed orange cones and flags on poles. The partners developed a plan that, through the cooperative efforts of all involved, will lead to the installation of five new nesting platforms at strategic locations around the lake. The game commission will build the platforms, and share responsibilities to provide the material with the district and Penn Power. Penn Power will provide labor and equipment for installation.  
      The nesting structure will consist of a steel nesting platform attached to a 50-foot wooden pole. The new nesting platforms will bring the total number of nesting sites at the project to 18. The target date for final installation is Feb. 28, just in time for migrating osprey to begin nesting again.
      Penn Power and the game commission are fully supportive of the osprey nesting program at Shenango and have pledged to continue to support efforts to enhance the protected species.