Ospreys can cause power outages after storm
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
LEE COUNTY - Isaac also affecting wildlife in Southwest Florida and that could impact you as well. Strong winds can destroy birds' nests, forcing them to find new places to build a home. Some birds try nesting along power lines but that not only kills the bird, it knocks out your power. Four in your Corner's Mike Mason continues our team coverage tonight.
These avid bird watchers from Manhattan say they just flew down to Southwest Florida for one reason.
Pat Loret De Mola: "For the Ospreys. Yeah, we heard about the Ospreys."
And Pine Island is the perfect place to see Ospreys. These big birds of prey love this area, which has plenty of fishing holes and places to nest. These man-made osprey nests were built by Lee County Electric Coop, or LCEC. By doing this, Osprey are less likely to nest along power lines which can knock out power to customers and end up killing the birds.
In St. James City we spotted this Bald Eagle. Residents there say one was killed because it went too close to a line.
Rick Moore: "Landed on those power lines got electrocuted and killed it."
After storms like Isaac, strong winds can destroy nests and down trees, forcing these beautiful birds to find new nesting grounds. LCEC crews are on the lookout to make sure Osprey don't perch on power lines. Something these snowbirds don't want to see either.
Pat Loret De Mola: "I'd love to see Ospreys, I'm really sad to see that they're having some issues with their nesting. I'd love to see them, but not fried."
That's why crews have installed special padding on power lines.
Rick Moore: "So that birds land on one side and they're not touching the hot on both sides so the electricity goes through them and electrocutes them."
John Thomas: "We see them all the time Eagles and Hawks and Ospreys."
John Thomas chopped down this dead tree in front of his home before Isaac moved in. That's good for him but as the birds' habitat diminishes so does their chance of survival.
Mike Mason: "So Ospreys are a big deal.”
Pat Loret De Mola : "Absolutely, yes. That's the reason we're on Pine Island today."
If you notice an Osprey in your area and are concerned they may try to build a nest on a power line you can actually call LCEC to request one of those special platforms Ospreys use to build a nest. The number is 239-656-2300.