By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Energy Weekly News -- FirstEnergy's (NYSE: FE) electric utilities are leading the industry with the use of aerial drones to inspect the nests of protected birds of prey. The drones offer a fast and safe way to survey locations where the birds have started nesting on utility poles and other electric equipment, without disrupting the birds by having a line worker inspect the nest.
Birds of prey like ospreys and eagles often seek out tall structures, including electric transmission towers and poles to build their nests, which can measure up to three feet in width. These nesting habits often place the birds near energized electrical equipment - jeopardizing their well-being and potentially causing power outages. A typical bird nest inspection requires a line crew to go out to each nesting site to inspect the nest. This method is not only unsettling to the birds, but time consuming for the crews.
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