TEP installs safety features for AZ raptors - Tucson News Now

TEP installs safety features for AZ raptors

One example of TEP installed protections for Arizona's birds of prey (Source: Tucson Electric Power) One example of TEP installed protections for Arizona's birds of prey (Source: Tucson Electric Power)
Another example of protection for Arizona's birds of prey, installed by TEP (Source: Tucson Electric Power) Another example of protection for Arizona's birds of prey, installed by TEP (Source: Tucson Electric Power)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Someof the largest birds in Tucson have hatched and flown the nest this season.

Theyhave a good shot at survival here in the city, thanks to a partnership between TucsonElectric Power (TEP) and the University of Arizona.

Babyhawks in one Foothills neighborhood are just about ready to fly the nest, butgrowing up in the city has its challenges.

Avideo provided to Tucson News Now by TEP shows utility workers installing aspecial platform on Tucson's eastside for a nest that was made on top of apower pole.

"It'sbasically made out of plastic, which is much safer," stated Joe Barrios, aspokesperson for TEP.

It isthe second platform of its kind to be installed in the Tucson area, to protectbirds of prey from electrocution.  Activepower lines are also a danger to young raptors with clumsy wings.

A birdcan only touch one power line but hawks have such massive wings that if thatwing touches a second line, that's where it gets hurt, so workers will putplastic molding over one of those lines so a hawk can either safely sit on topof those moldings or if it's on a different power line and the wing touches it,it's safe.

"Whenthey have others that can hunt for them, they might be able to live with aninjured foot," said Bill Mannan, with UA Natural Resources. TEPpays for help from the bird experts at the U of A. 

"Theirjob is to locate active nests each year and to let TEP know where those are,"said Mannan. 

NaturalSciences researchers say at one time, about 100 hawks were dying every yearfrom contact with live wires.

"Thosenest sites are really where we concentrate and focus on installing thisequipment," stated Barrios.

Allnew power lines are fitted with bird protections. 

TEP is also asking for the public's help, tolet them know when they spot a nest by calling (520) 623-7711.

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