Raptors (birds of prey) as a group are considered migratory birds. As such, they are protected through federal and state laws and regulations and they cannot be possessed, taken, sold or purchased, unless with a permit.
Habitat loss reduces raptor nest sites, hunting habitat, and winter roost sites. Habitat reduction also increases human-raptor conflicts such as collisions with cars, power lines, and other man-made structures. Each raptor nest, its offspring, and supporting habitats are considered important to the long-term viability of raptor populations and are vulnerable to disturbance by many human activities.
Utility poles can benefit raptors by providing perching and/or nesting structures in. However, utility structures can also pose a threat to raptors and other birds through electrocutions or collisions. With the goal of to reducing avian mortality, APLIC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service jointly released Avian Protection Plan Guidelines. These guidelines are meant to be used in the development of Avian Protection Plans to reduce the risk of bird mortality that results from interactions with electric utility faciities.
The USFWS and NGPC have developed a guidance document (Avoiding Osprey and Energy Infrastructure Conflicts: Information and Resources for UtilitiesVersion) to ensure that problematic Osprey nests are recognized and managed in a proactive, consistent and lawful manner in Nebraska. Ospreys benefit from the presence of power lines by using distribution poles and transmission structures for nesting. However, the bulky nests often cause power outages when sticks interfere with electrical equipment. These guidelines are intended to inform managers of regulations and protocols for addressing problematic osprey nest situations: they are not regulatory in themselves and they are not intended to supplant onsite review or consultation.
Red-tailed hawk electro- cuted on power line
Powerlines marked to avoid bird collisions