Alternatives to Murder

Update

PSE&G has tear downs planned for March 29th 2006, taking seriously the suggestion from Alison and the parrot community that the take downs be timed for early spring. This way the birds are not deprived of their nests during the freezing temperatures as they were in CT. This timing is early enough in the Spring that there will most likely be no babies or eggs in the nest. In the event there are young or eggs, Alison Evans-Fragale will be on hand to accept them for transport to Acadia Sanctuary. Acadia has obtained the necessary permit to receive the chicks or eggs.

THANK YOU  PSE&G !

A group with representatives from three states participated in a workshop on Sunday, March 25th, to make some Alternative Nest Platforms in time for the tear downs. On hand to work with Alison and her husband Mark Fragale were Donna Dwyer of www.CtQuakers.com, Steve of www.BrooklynParrots.com, Rich and Sharon Presner of the CT Quakers group, Mike Trachtenberg of www.07020.com, and Douglas Hall, Editor of the Bergen News. It is so wonderful that people working to save the Quakers came from three different states, and that we all came together to fight for the same cause--to save wild parrots--they have fans everywhere!

Texas Update

Parrots Threaten Dallas Electricity Supply
07:55 PM CST on Friday, March 17, 2006
By BYRON HARRIS / WFAA-TV

Above the hum of high voltage comes the unexpected squawk of parrots.

The neighbors of Forest Hills in East Dallas treasure the South American birds.

But the parrots have built their nests in a TXU substation. And one stray feather could cut off electricity to 10,000 people. A dilemma as TXU upgrades the facility.

Here's the problem. There used to be nests in this tower and this one. But as TXU rebuilt this tower it removed the nests.

The neighborhood says TXU promised not to destroy the nests until August. TXU said it checked the nests for chicks and eggs before it removed them and no birds were hurt. Now TXU plans to build them a new home.

"An alternate nesting platform that we are going to build at our expense, install at our expense and maintain at our expense," said a spokesperson.

TXU says it is meeting with all parties concerned for a go ahead on the project. The people living in the neighborhood are anxious for the project to start so the parrots can continue their own version of March madness. Mating season. 

THANK YOU TXU!


In several states, individuals and wildlife groups have worked cooperatively with power companies to assist in controlling populations of Monk Parakeets. For example, in New Jersey, Edgewater Parrots, worked with PSE&G to find humane solutions to nest teardowns and killing of baby birds and discarding eggs. By working together they found humane and amicable solutions, including the appropriate timing of nest teardowns and options to nest teardowns, such as the use of ceramic sleeves, orange colored envelopes, balloons, mirrors, and ultrasonic sound.. Recently, a permit was received that allows the Edgewater parrot group to assist PSE&G with nest teardowns and egg and juvenile removal. Edgewater’s Mayor and Council voted to allow Edgewater Parrots to begin construction of our alternative nesting platforms in parks throughout the Borough. Alison Evans-Fragale of the Edgewater Parrots group tells me they got cooperation from PSE&G to time nest teardowns, and they will be trying that as part of our new approach in the spring. Teardowns will take place early in the spring (before eggs or babies are in the nest), and they will have alternative nesting platforms in place in close proximity. PSE&G will perform a second teardown soon after the first, and they hope that will lure the birds to the platforms. It does appear that once a nest has been removed more than twice from a particular location that the birds deem it unsafe, and do not attempt to nest there again.

PSE&G, has favored the nonviolent way of removing monk parakeets when possible. Rather than nighttime confrontation with a colony in the autumn, PSE&G uses springtime, daylight tactic, destroying the nests but letting the animals fly away and establish new nests for the breeding season. Providing alternative sites, platforms at this time would encourage the birds to use them as they are looking to nest.. In dealing with the issue in Edgewater they accidentally discovered that orange ceramic sleeves deter the birds... PSE&G uses the sleeves to cover lines, and the birds did not re-build in the poles that had orange sleeves on the wires. They also found that . pigeon spikes put up to deter pigeons in some areas actually attracted the parrots because the spikes allowed the birds to weave their twigs.

In NY, ConED has worked successfully with individuals and conservationists to remove Quaker Parakeet nest from utility poles without killing the birds. Con Ed monitors about 130 nests in Brooklyn, most of them centered around Brooklyn College.

In Texas, the power co has developed a humane solution to this problem. What has worked there is the construction of a platform on top of the pole, dropping the transformer and wires at least 4 feet below. Birds will naturally go to the highest point, so placing the platform above the wires will create a solution. Alternative nesting platforms for Quaker Parakeets are being used in White Rock, TX. Dropping the lines eliminates nest interference with the lines. The approximate cost of a wooden platform construction is $90. Indeed, this would be a more cost effective solution than the cost of equipment and manpower needed to extinguish a possible fire, outage and extraordinary repairs.

The Salt River Project in Phoenix, Ariz., upgraded their electric facility to prevent birds from coming into contact with hot or energized wires. They have also installed perches and nesting platforms above transformers that encourage birds to nest away from the dangerous areas.

Ceramic sleeves to protect power lines and transformers, keeping Quaker nests from encroaching, are being discussed in VA.

Most, utility companies who provide power to communities that have monk parakeets have a protocol that includes-scheduling regular nest "trimmings”,--scheduling nest teardowns at a time when babies and eggs are not in the nests, and agreeing to perform nest teardowns at a time when harsh weather conditions do not pose a life-threatening risk to the birds. Regular maintenance of poles would help keep the birds away and in the large fir trees and deciduous hardwoods where most of the estimated 1,000 Connecticut monk parakeets live.

Steps can be taken to protect utility poles, lines and transformers, as well as high powered lighting fixtures, by utilizing methods similar to those used by conservationists in cooperation with power companies regarding osprey, who too, often nest on utility poles; alternative nesting.

Donna Dwyer has photo's and plans for one such developed Alternative Nest Platform available, as does PSE &G as they will be being installed in NJ and have been used on Private Property in MA experimentally.



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