Protecting These Young Ones

Before the three 2012 eaglets had fledged from the nest we had urged our local utility company, Dayton Power and Light, to install avian protection devices on the utility poles within the eagles’ section of the well field. We had learned from experience that the eaglets would soon find these unobstructed perches very desirable. The devices were installed on the crossarms of over two dozen poles before their supply was depleted. Then the eaglets fledged.

Experience soon became the best teacher again as the eaglets were still drawn to the poles but now chose the insulators and the pole tops as their landing pads. Although this lessened the threat of electrocution somewhat, they were still in real danger. Our intent was to discourage perching on the poles at all.

On Tuesday, July 10, 2012, three of our group joined the DP&L crews for 8 hours as we again addressed the problem and installed additional devices. Our task was to show the crews which poles were most crucial to retrofit. Our focus was the pole tops as well as the crossarms. With the use of 4 bucket trucks, nine men installed the devices on 5 more poles, replaced bare wire jumpers with weatherproof, insulated wire, repaired severed ground wires on a number of poles and installed ridge pins and other devices to make landing on the pole tops more difficult. The eaglets spent the greater part of the day watching the activity from the nesting tree across the river.

This morning I returned to the wellfield to try to assess if we had had any success at all. I found two eaglets perched in the trees near the poles and one sitting atop a pole that was yet unprotected just a short distance away. I marked that pole and notified my DP&L contact of the pole number and location. The poles that they had worked on the previous day were all unoccupied!

Although this is admittedly just a start as there are dozens and dozens of poles in the wellfield supporting the conductors that carry electricity over great distances to power the water pumps, we have had some success in the area most frequented by the eaglets. We know from watching Pride, the surviving 2011 eaglet, that after a few months of experience the eaglets will leave the openness of the poles for the leafy canopy of the hundreds of trees in the area and the shady seclusion that they offer. The threat will  always be there but we are glad that both Dayton Power and Light and The City of Dayton Water Department understand the urgent need to protect these young ones.

Published in: on July 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm  Comments (3)  

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Excellent!!

  2. I have so enjoyed reading all of your articles. I could not just pick out one. Thank you for the excellent read on all of them.

  3. Thank you Joan. I am glad you are having trouble choosing a favorite.

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