Support from northerners like you keeps our journalism alive. Sign up here.

Power corporation builds new home for inconvenient osprey

A file photo of an osprey building a nest
A file photo of an osprey building a nest. Mailguy5/Dreamstime


An osprey that threatened to become the Northwest Territories’ next flamin’ raven has been successfully relocated.

In an infamous 2014 incident, a raven is believed to have simultaneously started a wildfire and cut power to Yellowknife after electrocuting itself on a power pole.

Almost nine years to the day since that fateful event, the NWT Power Corporation said it had taken steps to remove an osprey nest precariously balanced on a power pole in the community of Łútsël K’é.

However, the power corp’s engineers also provided a ready-made alternative.



… and after. Photos: NTPC

In what amounts to the fastest provision of affordable housing in Northwest Territories history, a power pole-esque structure topped by an alluring faux nestbox was erected in the vicinity.

The osprey took the deal.

“The nest was initially built on a power pole, creating the risk of fire or a power outage,” the power corporation confirmed on Twitter.

“NTPC built a platform close to the original location. After a fly-by, the osprey has settled into its new home.”



This is not the first osprey to fall for the power corporation’s attractive line of homes for birds of prey.

In 2019, another osprey outside Yellowknife was given the same treatment.

Though the nesting platforms are not cheap – they can cost more than $10,000, including labour and transportation of materials – the power corporation has in the past described nests on power poles as a “safety issue” that needs to be properly addressed.

“It’s not just sticking a pole in ground,” said spokesperson Doug Prendergast in 2019. “There is an art to successfully creating a nesting platform.”