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Operation Osprey

May 12, 2022

Just outside Hamilton, a family of osprey built their nest atop a pole carrying power lines.

After taking a look at the nest and the area, and not wanting to simply tear it down, crews got to work to save the birds’ home. The Avilla team got a bit of advice from experts, did some research, and figured out how to transfer the nest to help the birds and prevent a power outage.

The entire barn worked together to prepare for the job, found a reusable pole and pallet, and took advantage of an inclement weather day to prepare all the materials needed. On the morning of May 5, the area was made safe with cover-up, the nest was recovered, a new pole was set and the nest platform and perches were attached and secured to create the new home. Shortly thereafter, the osprey returned to their nest safe and sound.

The nest transfer crew:

  • Shawn Waldon, Line Crew Supervisor
  • Andrew Welly, Line Mechanic-A
  • Jeremy Altimus, Line Mechanic-C
  • Mason Anderson, Line Mechanic-D

Jim Stairhime, Distribution System Supervisor, also dropped by the jobsite and pitched in with gear and maneuvering the nest on the ground.

The public was interested in the project and lauded the efforts of our lineworkers. Several locals passed by during the pole setting, inquiring about the work and expressing their appreciation for the nest being saved, and a plethora of comments and kudos were shared on social media.

“So wonderful that you moved the nest. God bless you!” – Kimberly G.

“Thank you for your kindness and ingenuity! You guys ROCK!” – Mary B.

“How wonderful!!! Kudos to Indiana Michigan Power and their crew for taking care of the osprey nest. You are awesome!!!” – Gerri S.

“Wahoo!! What an incredible heartwarming thing you all did for those gorgeous birds. You guys ROCK!!” – Joy K.

The story also caught the attention of news media, within our service territory and beyond, even garnering coverage from stations in Chicago.

Special thanks go to Helen G., the landowner who gave us permission to set the new pole at the edge of her field.

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