KISSIMMEE, Fla., June 12, 4:00 p.m. – A giant osprey nest located atop a high-voltage utility pole today was blown into the power line below by wind gusts associated with Tropical Storm Alberto, leaving 1,382 Kissimmee Utility Authority (KUA) customers without power for over an hour.
The nest was located on the eastern shore of Lake Tohopekaliga, near Parsons Road in Kissimmee. The location of the nest is not surprising as live fish account for about 99 percent of the bird’s diet.
The 300-pound nest blew into the line at 12:33 p.m. and damaged the pole and crossarm. Power was restored to most customers at 1:40 p.m.
There were neither eggs nor birds found in the nest.
Ospreys often choose power poles as nesting sites, since they favor tall trees with sparse branches. Typically, their nests are located dangerously near the line’s insulator, meaning the birds could be electrocuted or that debris from the nest could cause a power outage.
In May, KUA began the lengthy and detailed process of relocating the nest away from the power line. Osprey and their nests are protected under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act so the relocation process involves state inspections, monitoring and a permit.
The utility has also identified a second osprey nest on Ham Brown Road that is a candidate for relocation.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 170,000 residents in five Central Florida counties.
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Chris M. Gent
(407) 933-7777 x 1116