Skip to content

Feathery critters make homes in hydro poles

Nests inside can be as big as three soccer balls

BC Hydro has been doing a power pole upgrade south of Revelstoke and has been finding some feathered critters taking up residence inside its infrastructure.

Jen Walker-Larsen, stakeholder engagement advisor for BC Hydro, said the company will likely encounter similar situations when it begins upgrades in Clearwater next spring.

“It’s interesting because from the outside it doesn’t look like much, you’ve got these cavities, but it’s the inside of these cavities that can be quite huge,” she said.

“It’s like the size of three soccer balls, but it’s quite something when you see them cut away—just the amount of wood missing from the inside.”

Waler-Larsen added hydro crews are trained to recognize signs of use by birds and wildlife, and if some are found nesting inside a pole, work is immediately halted as not to disturb them.

Once the young are raised and the infrastructure is vacated the poles are then properly disposed of.

“Every year we have inspectors that test thousands of poles and they flag poles that need to be replaced,” she said.

“We are going around now and replacing a lot of these poles because insects, weather and wildlife use, all of these things can shorten their lifespan and obviously power poles, they’re pretty important to keeping the energized lines above the ground and keeping people safe.”

She added next spring BC Hydro plans to replace about 150 poles in the Clearwater and Valemount areas by April 1, 2019.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter