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Nesting osprey return to area
Avista acts to protect popular raptors

GRANGEVILLE, Idaho. May 29, 2009: As spring brings nesting ospreys back to the area, Avista ramps up efforts to protect the prevalent northwest raptors.

The osprey, also called the fish hawk because of a diet primarily consisting of fish, migrates back to the northwest each year to nest from early April through September. The osprey's favored nesting areas are dead trees or trees with flat or dead tops. However, with the increase of development, they frequently use power poles and similar structures as a type of surrogate home.

Unlike most birds of prey, ospreys are tolerant of human activities and will build nests on almost any suitable structure that is high and close to water with an abundant supply of fish. The Clearwater River and area lakes draw high numbers of the raptors to the area for nesting, but nesting on power poles can be unsafe for the raptor and can also cause outage and safety problems for utilities. For instance, nests can catch fire during wind and rain storms, birds can be electrocuted, and nests can cause area power outages.

Residents may see line crews working on poles with nests or nesting platforms throughout the season, and should notify Avista if they learn of new osprey nests on Avista poles or electrical equipment, or raptors that have been injured or killed near power poles or lines.

“As the osprey population increases, conflict with the human built world increases. Avista strives to always be a good steward of the environment and protect natural resources, habitat and wildlife, while providing reliable energy to our customers,” Jeff Scott, Avista’s Construction Manager in Grangeville, said. “We do whatever we can when we’re notified of issues with raptors.”

To help lessen the impact to the osprey population, Avista uses several remedial actions to resolve power outages and electrocution problems while accommodating nesting ospreys. Actions may include:
• Building alternate nesting platforms.
• Using bird deterrents to keep osprey from nesting on power poles.
• Insulating jumper wires from the energized wires and equipment.
• Trimming the sticks of a nest that is too close to electrical equipment away from the energized wires.

Avista Corp. is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. Avista Utilities is our operating division that provides service to 355,000 electric and 315,000 natural gas customers in three Western states. Avista’s primary, non-regulated subsidiary is Advantage IQ. Our stock is traded under the ticker symbol “AVA.” For more information about Avista, please visit www.avistacorp.com.
 

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