Hello All Concerned
I found a bird dead while riding my bike Sunday on 148th Ave in the Huntington Plan. I was very worried at first that it was one of the young Eaglets from the Pembroke hatching. I wrote Ken Schneider to hear that it is a Osprey. He ask that I post this for informational purposes to all concerned. The culprit in the death was a telephone pole it had been electrocuted, it laid 7 inches from the base. Then again I hope that was the reason for it's death?
It should be known that birds do not get eloctrocuted when they land on live wires. Electricity is funny - it works on differences. Landing or touching one wire does nothing. Birds (and other animals/humans) die when they touch 'two' wires. Most overhead wires you see are 3 wires which are 3 legs of 3-phase voltages. One normally has to touch two of these wires - or in the case of humans, they touch one wire and are touching the ground (a-la-touching wires with a tree trimmer or pool skimmer) to get electrocuted.
Usually birds get electrocuted on pole-mounted transformers where they walk around on top of them and the three connections are very close to one another allowing the birds to be able to touch two legs at the same time.
I thank you for the info, I didn't take photos of the top of the pole, I think there are junction boxes and power transformers on the pole. I am now thinking I should have given the bird to someone to check.
I did not post the photo to be a spokesman against FPL or any group. I thought that it was a baby eaglet and wanted to let it be known to all of us that had witness the birth of the Eagles on Pines this year.
Thanks Again for your follow up to my photos, I will continue to do my best to contribute through photos and film.
Thanks for your good work and reporting. I sent your photos to our point person with FPL. He has made
improvements to the wires and poles on the lines around the Pines nest. As Mike stated, the birds tend to land on top of the poles......so the top wires going out from the poles have been insulated with "wraps". Other improvements include the "curly cues" placed on the wires to make them more visible.
I'm sure no one took your post as a criticism against FPL or any group. Perhaps that pole can be checked to see if any other protective measures could be taken. It would be so positive if something new could be learned from this tragic occurrence.
This seems like a good opportunity to thank FPL for the care and concern that they have exhibited towards our Pines Eagles. The protections that they initiated occurred before anyone approached them with concerns. They were really on the ball! I'm sure that the public would appreciate anything that FDOT could do for our eagles as well....
The Wildlife Alert number is 888-404-3922. FWC Law Enforcement can give you numbers for local rehabbers which can determine why the osprey died. They thoroughly check the carcass for emaciation and other signs of trauma. Many, many osprey are hit by cars. FWC and local power companies should be notified if it is suspected that a bird of prey has been electrocuted. Also, there is a mortality database http://www.myfwc.com/bird/. Please note that FWC is interesetd in monitoring electrocutions. Please look at the link provided below regarding the 10.5 million an electric company had to pay for not making the lines safe for Golden Eagles, Bald Eagles and hawks. http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/jul2009/2009-07-14-092.asp
From the FWC Site
Surveillance for Wild Bird Die-offs
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission is cooperatively working with the Florida Department of Health on a wild bird mortality database. This project was initiated to support surveillance for bird die-offs and aids in monitoring for Avian Influenza (AI) and West Nile Virus (WNV). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has additional information concerning WNV. Please see our web page for links and information concerning AI.
We are also interested in monitoring bird electrocutions from power lines (pdf) and poles so that faulty facilities may be repaired. Please be sure to indicate electrocution as the cause of death when that is the case.
Please help us monitor wild bird populations in Florida. Click here for help in identifying birds. If you notice dead birds, especially waterfowl, shorebirds or crows, please do not touch or handle them; simply let us know by filling out the following form:
We have a good relationship with Progress Energy in West Central Florida. In 2010 we will have quarterly meetings and be taking them out to the field to give them an eagle/osprey perspective. They awarded $12,000 this year in a grant to me for osprey conservation and protections for ospreys and bald eagles.
Thanks so much Barb for that information and phone number. A few months ago while birding in the Everglades we came upon a Crested Caracara along the roadside. We assumed it had been killed by a car and I called FWC to report the find. I was told by several different officers that no one was keeping data on the deaths of these birds and there was nothing that they, or I, could do. I am glad to hear that there is an interested group and will keep their number in my phone. I thought at least someone would want to pick up the bird due to its rarity and determine the cause of death.