In the last week, one of the famous Decorah Eaglets was killed on one of our poles in rural Keokuk County. It was about 150 miles from where it hatched, and in a part of the state where we haven’t seen many eagles in the past.
We want our customers and fellow Iowans to know that we are saddened by this event, and we are taking more steps to protect the eagles and other wildlife in our territory.
When we built our lines in this area of rural Keokuk County, we installed animal protection for the expected wildlife, which at the time did not include eagles. However, in recent years, the eagle population has grown in non-traditional areas like this because of newer livestock farming operations, which provide sources of food for the eagles.
We are learning from this, and our crews have already started working to install equipment to protect eagles and other birds in the area.
As part of our long-standing Avian Protection Plan, we will add special line covers and anti-perching devices in this area. We will install this equipment as soon as it is ready, which could be as soon as the next week or two. We have used this equipment in many other parts of the state.
This incident was a new situation for us, and we are going to carefully study how we can identify other non-typical places that could become areas of concern as the population of eagles continues to flourish in Iowa.
We appreciate the work of the Raptor Resource Project, located in Decorah, and hope to work together to share the lessons learned from these developments with others.