October 29, 2018
Avian Relocation Specialist Team Swoops into Action
Home is where you make it, but sometimes you need help with location. That’s the lesson some osprey learned when they returned to their nest near an American Electric Power substation in Michawaka, IN this past spring. AEP crews moved the nest to a safer location in a recent project.
The nest, located on a lattice transmission tower, was unoccupied for the winter, but swift action was required before the birds’ returned. Anticipated summer construction at the Twin Branch substation could have disturbed the osprey and discouraged them from reproducing.
Osprey are migratory birds of prey found on the Indiana endangered species list and must be protected. Regulations prohibit construction within 660 feet of an active nest. The nest, which was located 450 feet from the substation, would require additional permits, agency coordination and possibly delay construction if occupied by the birds. Simply dismantling the existing nest would be a temporary solution, as the osprey would likely rebuild in the same location.
An Avian Relocation Specialist Team (ARST) was quickly formed to build an osprey nest-safe platform and transfer the nest from the lattice tower. The concept developed by ARST attached a two-by-four-foot platform on top of a 70-foot steel pole. Then, the existing nest was carefully moved to the new platform for the ospreys’ return. To prevent the raptors from rebuilding on the lattice tower again, a protective round cap was placed on top of the structure. The ospreys’ new home is visible from the original nesting location, but meets the required distance from the substation per state of Indiana regulations.
“The ARST team demonstrated the key AEP values of integrity and stewardship. Developed in a short period of time, the knowledge, assistance and enthusiasm the team displayed was remarkable,” Rod Ginter, an AEP environmental specialist, said. “The ospreys will have a safer spot to nest that is closer to their summer feeding grounds along the river. The location is free from any climbing nest predators such as raccoons and we can now proceed with our substation upgrades without fear of disrupting their nesting or their nestlings. This project is a true win-win for our substation project and the ospreys – a valuable learning experience for our AEP team.”
Other Featured Stories
January 29, 2019
A Commitment to Service: Employee Uses Leadership Skills in New Role with Air Force Reserves
People who are acquainted with Trevor Sthultz know him at AEP for his roles in change management, strategic problem solving, continuous improvement and leadership. What they may not know is that he uses those same skills in a new responsibility he has as lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves.
January 07, 2019
All Aboard: Santa Train Makes Annual Trek Through Appalachia With the Help of APCo
Gifts ranging from toys and fresh fruit to scarves, gloves and hats were handed out by some 120 volunteers aboard the 76th Santa Train. Among the volunteers were several Appalachian Power employees and their spouses. Appalachian Power was a major sponsor of the event for the second year in a row
December 13, 2018
Making the Holidays Brighter, Our Communities Stronger
Like a lot of people this time of year, Jim Carlson and his wife Suzanne throw a Christmas party for friends, family and neighbors. Their guests have come to expect at least three things. The party is always the first Saturday night in December. The Ohio State game will be on TV, “no matter how painful it is to watch.” At least one of the Christmas trees will be bare.