Raptor Protection Program

Poudre Valley REA has a long-standing raptor protection program that seeks to protect birds of prey from harm.

For many years Poudre Valley REA has worked with area schools, scout troops, wildlife biologists and the Colorado Department of Wildlife to relocate nests for birds of prey, most notably osprey, away from energized power lines. These nests are constructed by students and placed by PVREA line crews at an annual cost of more than $150,000.

Osprey Nesting at Raptor Protection Site

A nesting pair of osprey have taken up residence in a site that is part of the Poudre Valley REA Raptor Protection Program. They are shown here in a photo courtesy of the North Forty News.

Rose and Jim Brinks had the Osprey platform constructed on an old power pole on their property in 2010 but Ospreys never took up residence until Jeff Birek, a Biologist at the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, brought students from Cache La Poudre Middle School together with Poudre Valley REA to place the nest.

Bob Steketee's Technology Class at nearby CLPMS wove a nest with willow and dogwood branches and a Poudre Valley REA bucket truck lifted the hand-woven osprey nest to a platform near the Poudre River in LaPorte in 2011.

Eric Hermann, a retired Cache La Poudre teacher, constructed a camera mount that is attached to the nest. Eric is pursuing funding to put in a camera to stream live video of the Osprey nest.

Power poles are attractive places for osprey and other raptors to build their nests. But this causes a hazard to both the birds and the grid. So, for many years Poudre Valley REA has worked with area schools, scout troops, wildlife biologists and the Colorado Department of Wildlife to relocate nests for birds of prey, most notably osprey, away from energized power lines.

Ospreys are birds of prey that eat fish (at least 99% of their diet by weight). They hover and dive into the water with talons held out in front of their heads to grab fish that are within about 3 feet of the surface. They are about 2 feet long (from head to tail), weigh about 3.5 pounds and have over a 5 foot wingspan.

PVREA Rescues Hawk In Powerline

On July 14 a call came in to the Poudre valley REA Operations Department asking for help rescuing a hawk that had become caught in a powerline. A truck was dispatched and arrived in time to save the raptor. Below is a letter received from the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program once the hawk was saved.

I just wanted to give a HUGE thanks to those involved in helping with the rescue of the red tailed hawk stuck on the power line up on the ridge near Greenmile Dr last night. Everyone involved was great from the dispatcher that acted quickly to get assistance to us to the awesome lineman, Kelly Streeb, that responded. It was determined that the bucket truck could not be used to reach the bird due to the precarious location of the pole, so Kelly spiked up and was able to detach the bird from the wire that had impaled its wing and lower it to the ground for rescue. The bird was then taken to the center for emergency care. The bird is stable but sustained quitea bit of damage to its left wing from the wire piercing through it and the weight of the bird hanging there but at least, thanks to your crew's help, it is still alive and has been given a chance. Luckily, so far at least, important structures in the wing are still intact but the extent of the damage will not be know for a while yet. The damaged area will be treated and assessed over the next week or so and by then we will have a better idea of the the bird's outcome. It is an immature bird (this year's kid) and has quite an attitude (ie mad!). Again thanks to everyone who responded to our plea for help and went above and beyond to help this bird. Thanks for caring about the wildlife in our community. You guys are awesome!

Gail Gail Kratz
Medical Director
Rocky Mountain Raptor Program

The Rocky Mountain Raptor Program rescues, rehabilitates and releases injured birds of prey, including Eagles, Owls, Hawks and Falcons and works closely with the veterinarians at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Medical Center. RMRP has consulted been envolved with nearly 5,000 raptor cases since the program started as a student club in 1979 and averages about one admission and several injured raptor calls each day. More than 70% of treatable raptors are released for A Second Chance At Freedom.