Every year, Iain MacLeod hikes out along a rough and hilly powerline corridor in Franklin to observe a pair of ospreys. The pair has been successfully nesting in the area since at least 2002, raising at least 24 chicks over the years. Like many ospreys in the area, this pair builds their nest on a dead tree snag in the standing water of an active beaver pond. MacLeod has grown increasingly concerned for his feathered friends as they have had to move their nest at least five times after their nest tree has rotted and toppled. When he observed that the pair had used the last suitable tree in the pond to nest, MacLeod reached out to a contact at Eversource for help providing the ospreys with a permanent nesting location.
“My studies have revealed that pairs nesting on the type of platform Eversource installed have much greater nesting success than pairs nesting on trees,” said MacLeod. “Having a solid, safe nesting site to return to each year allows the ospreys to settle more quickly in the spring and their nests are safe from ground predators. It’s likely that this nesting pole will be used by many generations of nesting ospreys and produce many healthy osprey chicks.”
Eversource’s transmission crew carried the 55-foot pole out to the ospreys’ nesting location through challenging terrain using a tracked digger derrick equipped with special snow cleats. After installing the pole, the transmission team topped the structure with a platform for the birds to build their nest on. Not only does this create a new home for the birds, proactively providing an ideal nest location platform for the ospreys also helps mitigate the opportunity for fire and safety hazards when osprey look to build upon our poles.
MacLeod and his colleagues at NH Audubon and NH Fish and Game have worked with Eversource for more than 30 years to install several nesting platforms for local ospreys in the Lakes Region and throughout the state.
“Young forest in our powerline corridors provides essential habitat for many species of wildlife in New England and we have a long-standing commitment to the environmental stewardship of our properties,” said Eversource Manager of Transmission Construction and Maintenance Tom Davis. “As we continue our year-round efforts to modernize our electric system and build clean energy projects, we’re always looking for opportunities to support the ecological health of the creatures that call our rights-of-way home with partners like the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center.”
“I am always so impressed by Eversource’s dedication to the nesting success of Ospreys and other wildlife within the state,” MacLeod said. “Their crews take great pride in helping with these conservation projects and we couldn’t do it without their skills and equipment.”