Birds and Powerlines

Preventing animal-caused power outages

Birds of prey, such as eagles, hawks, osprey, and owls can often be seen using utility structures for perching and hunting. These large birds are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and may also be protected by other federal and state regulations. Chelan PUD has implemented an Avian Protection Plan to evaluate and retrofit structures that can pose risks to raptors.

Osprey often use utility poles for nesting. Osprey nests on power poles may pose a risk of power outages and fires, and can threaten the safety of the birds. Chelan PUD biologists monitor and evaluate nests on power poles to ensure safe nesting. If the nest is determined to be at risk, Chelan PUD manages the nests in accordance with state and federal laws. Chelan PUD often provides platforms for nesting that provide a safe alternative for the osprey. The platforms also reduce the risk of fire and prevent power outages for customers. Chelan PUD has many tools to modify power poles to accommodate safe use by birds and other wildlife.

Fast Facts:

  • Chelan PUD is a member of the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee (APLIC).
  • Osprey are the only bird of prey that feeds exclusively on fish.
  • Winter is a great time to observe bald eagles along our reservoirs.
Chelan PUD surveys Rocky Reach Reservoir for use by wintering bald eagles, and also conducts checks for nesting eagles during the breeding season. Nest platforms provide osprey and other raptors a safer alternative than power poles for nesting. Young great-horned owls peek from a cliff along the Reservoir. A female American kestrel and her clutch of eggs in a nest box provided by Chelan PUD.