In early November we were informed that an eagle’s nest had been spotted high on a tower on the on the far west coast of South Australia as part of ElectraNet’s annual inspection work. An Enerven TX Maintenance line crew was quickly deployed to remove the nest from the structure, as they can cause damage and potentially cause power outages or fires if the nest comes into contact with the wires. It was on closer inspection of the nest though that the lines crew found two young Wedge-tailed Eagle chicks inside.
Due to this, the crew assessed the position of the nest on the structure and the potential risks to the tower and to the chicks if they were moved. After careful assessment, the decision was made to leave it where it was until the young were ready to leave the nest.
The site was revisited mid-December to make the move, but unfortunately the young eagles were still not ready to fly. However, this was now becoming a problem as the nest was classified as a ‘Z’ code defect, meaning it has the potential to start a fire, and as the fire danger season is upon us coupled with the weather becoming increasingly warmer, the defect needed to be rectified as soon as possible.
Our Transmission Works Coordinator, Craig Swan, made the proactive decision to contact the SA Bird of Prey Rehabilitation Centre and seek their advice for an appropriate solution. They advised that the nest and chicks could be relocated under their instruction and guidance. Craig then contacted our customer, ElectraNet, to confirm they were happy with the decision to relocate the nest, which they supported. It was determined that the best solution would be to keep the nest on the same structure to minimise the impact on the birds, however, that it would need to be moved below the height of the conductors to a safer position on the tower.
The lines crew quickly got to work to design and install a custom platform for the nest to be moved to. This included the addition of a landing pad for the mother eagle to land safely. The crew designed the platform in such a way that it wouldn’t compromise the tower but would allow the young birds to continue to grow up happy and safely.
Under instruction of the SA Bird of Prey Rehab Centre, the crew safely relocated the nest and then moved approximately 1km away to ensure the young eagles were ok. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before mum arrived to check out her new address.
The crew made a follow up visit in late December to ensure the chicks and their mum are still enjoying the new digs. On returning they found the chicks were still there... Apparently a bit stubborn to move out of home
Well done to all involved, a win/win all round!