– Rep. Parke Wentling (R-Crawford/Erie/Lawrence/Mercer), chairman of the Joint Legislative Conservation Committee, applauded Pennsylvania Power Company (Penn Power), a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp., and the Erie Bird Observatory for the recent installation of two osprey nesting platforms in Mercer and Crawford counties.
Ospreys, which were once registered on the endangered and threatened species list in Pennsylvania, are found along large rivers and lakes and tend to build their nests on top of man-made structures such as power lines.
“I am beyond thrilled that our pioneering efforts to protect this once-endangered raptor continue to be successful and that our partnership is growing not only in our region, but all throughout western Pennsylvania and statewide,” said Wentling, who has been diligently working to remedy this issue for many years. “Building these nesting boxes is beneficial not only to ospreys who will be protected from electrocution by power lines, but to residents in communities who would otherwise put themselves at risk for frequent episodes of disruptive power outages.”
Through the collaborative efforts of Wentling, regional energy companies and conservation stakeholders, the construction of osprey nesting boxes on utility poles located near power lines came to fruition and continues to expand through an additional $5,000 FirstEnergy Foundation grant awarded last fall to the Erie Bird Observatory to fund the construction of several nesting platforms across western Pennsylvania.
“We are proud to once again build on this outstanding partnership with Rep. Wentling and, most recently PennPower, to have these nesting structures in place before the ospreys return to the area in late March and take up nesting this spring,” said Dr. Sarah Sargent, executive director and founder of the Erie Bird Observatory. “Our continuing partnership is a win-win because it helps keep the nesting birds safe and also benefits electricity customers.”
Residents in the area who see birds nesting atop power lines are encouraged to contact the Erie Bird Observatory at 814-580-8311 to report the pole number.
Representative Parke Wentling
17th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Ty McCauslin