Utilities Deploy Drones to Keep Birds from Nesting on Poles
Betsy Lillian | Unmanned Aerial Online
FirstEnergy says its electric utilities are deploying drones to inspect the nests of protected birds of prey.
FirstEnergy’s 10 electric distribution companies serve customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. According to the company, drones offer a fast and safe way to survey locations in which birds have started nesting on utility poles and other electric equipment – without disrupting the birds by having a line worker inspect the nest.
The company explains that birds of prey, such as ospreys and eagles, often seek out tall structures – including electric transmission towers and poles – to build their nests, which can measure up to three feet in width. These nesting habits often place the birds near energized electrical equipment – jeopardizing their well-being and potentially causing power outages. A typical bird nest inspection requires a line crew to go out to each nesting site to inspect the nest, but this method can be not only unsettling to the birds but also time-consuming for the crews, according to FirstEnergy…(Read the full story)