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Kingsport Crew lends hand to feathered friends

November 2, 2023

Kingsport, Tn. -- Their work may be tough, but our hard-working line crews are known to have the biggest hearts. They are a brotherhood that looks out for each other and is dedicated to our customers and communities.

This dedication doesn’t stop with our customers. Crews often extend extraordinary efforts to situations they find in the field, including wildlife encounters.

This past spring, workers in Kingsport, Tenn., noticed they had new neighbors. An Osprey pair had built a large nest and taken up residence on a three-phase recloser pole near the service center.

Kingsport crew banded together to help a family of osprey

The crew agreed this was not the ideal location to raise an Osprey family.

Rob Arnold, manager distribution systems, researched solutions and devised a plan to relocate the Ospreys to a safer location by installing a new pole for the nest and a deterrent on the old pole to encourage the birds to move.

The crew installed a new pole close to the three-phase recloser pole and did their best to make the new location like home, gathering sticks and starting the nest for the Ospreys. The crew then installed the deterrent on the three-phase recloser pole. A PVC pipe was mounted on the top of the pole, which would sway with bird's weight.

As planned, the Ospreys did not like the movement of the PVC pipe and chose to look for a more stable site, moving into their nest on the new pole.

All seemed well until early August. That's when Tim Booher, distribution line crew supervisor, and his crew returned to the service center after a long day at work and noticed the nest was gone and spotted the Osprey sitting on top of the pole. Booher stopped to investigate and found pieces of the nest on the ground. The nest had been destroyed during a thunderstorm.

And just as our line crews do for our customers, when there is a problem, they jump in to fix it. The team brought in a bucket truck and built the nest back for their new fine, feathered friends.

The new nest was a hit for the Ospreys and some of our wildlife-loving customers who reached out to praise the crew's efforts.

The birds soon settled back into the nest and remained for a few more weeks before migrating. Booher says they are looking forward to their return and seeing them high up in their nest with their little ones.

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