Ospreys are a common sight across coastal Delmarva — the birds feed on a buffet of fish found along the Delaware, Maryland and Virginia coasts. The impressive birds are hard to miss flying through the air — they have a wingspan of up to five feet, making them a little smaller than a bald eagle. Ospreys typically nest in tall trees and on other high platforms, but they occasionally build their nests on the top of utility poles.
Nesting that close to energized power lines can harm the birds and can also lead to power outages for our members. DEC crews, in April, relocated an osprey nest on a DEC-powered farm along Big Oak Road near Smyrna. The nest was initially built by an osprey on top of a DEC utility pole. DEC crews installed a new nesting pole next to the current utility pole and then very carefully moved the nest onto a platform built by the farmer. The new platform, with the nest safely secured, was then fastened to the nesting pole.
Within minutes of the installation, the ospreys were enjoying their new nesting spot, safe and sound away from Co-op power lines. DEC will occasionally install nesting platforms for the protection of local wildlife and frequently installs bird guards on electrical equipment near the coast.