Many electric utility firms in the Mid-Atlantic are concerned about protected raptors in their area because of the high density of birds of prey, like eagles and osprey, that nest on their electrical structures and power lines. Hazardous nest situations can lead to bird-related service interruptions, power outages, and fires. Nesting on these poles is also a risk to the raptors themselves due to collision and/or electrocution hazards.
In addition to the avian monitoring and reporting we do for our clients each year to help them locate hazardous nests, McCormick Taylor recently designed a web application for FirstEnergy, one of our utility clients, that allows field staff to report avian issues in real time.
"Efficiently identifying and responding to bird activity along our power lines is critical to preventing service disruptions and protecting wildlife," said Amy Ruszala, an advanced scientist and in-house avian expert at FirstEnergy. "This new, all-in-one app saves our employees the time of having to return to the office to complete and submit paperwork and enables them to report issues within a few clicks from their phones."
The Avian App was rolled out to the two FirstEnergy electric companies who typically report the highest level of bird activity around their power lines, Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) and the Pennsylvania Power Company (Penn Power). McCormick Taylor is assisting First Energy in training their staff and launching the application across its entire footprint over the course of the next year.