The osprey are back and here’s where you can see them

FortisBC nesting platforms help protect species

It’s that time of year again.

A pair of ospreys have safely built their summer home and laid two eggs on top of a FortisBC nesting pole in Kelowna.

“Ospreys like to nest on tall structures, which includes power poles,” Nicole brown, corporate communications advisor with FortisBC told Kelowna10. “That's not good for the birds and it's not good for our system. So we started a program of creating platforms next to the pole.”

Brown said people may find it surprising but there are many biologists employed by FortisBC that they defer to for their expertise in these matters.

Among them is Amy Duncan, terrestrial biologist, and sustainability and environment at FortisBC.

“Protecting osprey and other wildlife around our infrastructure is important for us as the electric utility in the Southern Interior and it’s always a special time of year when the ospreys come back to build their homes and mate,” said Duncan. “With our efforts through the Osprey Management program, we’ve made sure any nests on our power poles are safely moved outside of nesting season and we continue to install new nesting platforms for any birds looking for a safe place to build their home.”

The Osprey Management Program started back in 2005 and continues to protect birds through the installation of nesting platforms.

These platforms are built higher than the surrounding electricity infrastructure to encourage the ospreys and other birds to nest at these safer locations.

To date, FortisBC has installed close to 80 of these platforms across the Southern Interior.

Through this program, FortisBC’s environment team also works with power line technicians to relocate osprey nests built on electric infrastructure.

To involve the community, a livestream runs on the FortisBC website, where locals can keep an eye on the nesting birds.

Though the exact date for when the eggs are expected to hatch is still unknown.

“If anyone wants to start a pool on when they'll [the eggs] hatch because, well… we don’t know,” Brown remarked. “It really is up to nature.”

Published 2023-05-24 by Robin Liva

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