Nest platforms for storks
In the last 30 years more and more storks demonstrate a clear tendency to build their nests on electric poles. By doing this they expose themselves as well as their young to a deathly threat. Parts of the massive nest often touch the cables of the pole; in rain the touching twigs might cause a short circuit and as a result the nest and its inhabitants could be electrocuted. For this reason 20 years ago the BSPB started working for the protection of threatened stork nests. The technical solution is simple – a platform is installed under the nest. It must be of the same size as the nest. It is constructed from a solid, durable material (steel has proven to be the best material); with the assistance of the local branch of the electricity company the nest is removed, the platform is mounted on top of the pole and the nest is put back on it. The platform is higher above the cables and prevents future contact between them and the hanging twigs. In the beginning the BSPB constructed the nest platforms with its own resources and with the support of volunteers; however, with time we were able to show the electricity companies the advantages of such actions which are beneficial for them too, as short-circuits result in line ruptures and blackouts during storms and rainfall, and the repairs are often costly. For that reason the companies started their own construction of nest platforms and launched an initiative of preventive action by raising the potentially dangerous nests. A look at the situation in the regions of Haskovo, Kardjali, Dobrich and many other regions shows that at present most of the nests on poles already stand on platforms.
Protecting a potentially risky nest can be done easily by everyone. The first step is to inform the local branch of the electricity company about the potential risk of a particular nest. After discussing the most appropriate type of platform with technical support officers of the electricity company you can construct or order the platform yourself (you can download a blueprint here) if you have the resources and good will for it; then you have to coordinate the procedure for its installation with the company. If you cannot construct or order the platform yourself, you have to convince the electricity company to do it – call their attention to the advantages of such action, most of all the fact that thus they would remove the risk of short circuits. With some luck and little effort this initiative might turn into a long-term partnership leading to many new platforms and many saved stork families in your home town!
We would like to thank Stanimir Stavrev for the blue print of the platform.