For Immediate Release
Program identifies and safely removes osprey nests found on electric equipment
BALTIMORE (March 5, 2019) – Maryland will soon welcome back ospreys returning to settle in breeding areas around the Chesapeake Bay. Unfortunately, one favorite osprey nesting spot—the top of utility poles—poses a danger to birds while raising the risk of disruptions to electric service.
Now in its fourth year, BGE's Osprey Watch program protects the raptors and further ensures electric reliability through crowd-sourcing the location of nests built on electric equipment. Customers have reported 70 osprey nests since the program's inception in 2016, and recently BGE has averaged 30 osprey-related jobs per year. Once a nest is reported, trained BGE personnel then take measures that keep the birds and their young safe and curtail the potential for ospreys and their nests to cause electric outages.
"I'm delighted this innovative partnership between BGE and our community will again make meaningful contributions to the preservation of one of the Chesapeake Bay region's most vital wildlife resources," said Rob Biagiotti, vice president of electric operations. "Together, we're embracing a unique opportunity to expand our collaborative role in helping osprey thrive and enhancing electric reliability for customers."
Here's how the program works: anyone who sees an osprey nest on BGE equipment may report it by emailing the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org:
Alternatively, osprey nest location information may be shared over the phone with BGE's customer service team at 1-800-685-0123.
When BGE receives a report of a nest, crews follow all federal and local wildlife regulations while assessing whether the nest is inhabited and if it can be relocated. The nest is removed if no birds or eggs are present, a deterrent is placed on the top of the pole to dissuade the birds from building another nest, and the nest is relocated when possible—in some cases to a new platform built by BGE nearby. If the nest is inhabited, crews install rubber insulation on wires and other equipment to shield the birds.
More information about BGE's other environmental achievements is available at bge.com.
BGE, founded in 1816 as the nation's first gas utility and headquartered in Baltimore, is Maryland's largest natural gas and electric utility. The company's approximately 3,200 employees are committed to safe and reliable energy delivery to more than 1.25 million electric customers and more than 650,000 natural gas customers in central Maryland. In the J.D. Power 2017 and 2018 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study SM BGE was ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Business Electric Service in the East among Large Utilities. In addition, in the J.D. Power 2018 Gas Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study SM BGE received Best in Customer Satisfaction with Business Natural Gas Service in the East. BGE is a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.
Baltimore Gas and Electric Company (or "BGE") received the highest score in the East Large segment of the 2018 Electric Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study and the East Region of the 2018 Gas Utility Business Customer Satisfaction Study of electric and gas utility customer satisfaction among business customers. Visit jdpower.com/awards.