Saturday, 03 June 2023

The Bird Men of PG&E

Erik Harms works on the osprey nest from a PG&E truck's bucket. Photo by Judy Barnes.

CLEARLAKE OAKS – It all started a couple years ago when I noticed some ospreys (large fish hawks with wing spans of 54 inches) building a nest on the cross arms of a Pacific Gas &Electric power pole in our neighborhood on Widgeon Way.

I had seen bird platforms put up near power poles in other locations around the lake so I thought I could just call PG&E, explain the situation and get a platform put up. What happened was a crew came out that day, but they just knocked down the nest and left.

What I didn’t know is that the nests can cause power outages, fires, and even death to the birds when their nesting materials span two or more lines and the nest gets wet in the rain.

This year the ospreys were back and I decided to go higher up in the PG&E hierarchy. After a few phone calls by me I received a call back from Rick Trimble, Clearlake PG&E electric supervisor. He came out to my house that day to look at the nest in progress and promised to do what he could to help solve the problem.

True to his promise, he and his crew – Erik Harms, electric crew foreman and lineman Gerardo Pena (a.k.a. “Bird Man”) – were on the scene Thursday morning, April 12, with a nesting platform built by Bird Man the evening before to mount on an existing PG&E guy pole in the vicinity. The result is pictured.

Contrary to what I and some others may have thought, many of PG&E’s electrical crews do care about birds. They may even have a passion for them – enough so to dedicate their own unpaid time to helping find solutions to nests on power lines.

Harms told me that they often transport osprey eggs from nests that have to be removed to Lake County Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation in Loch Lomond for incubation. Now that is dedication!

Judy Barnes lives in Clearlake Oaks.


From left to right are PG&E Electric Supervisor Rick Trimble, Electric Crew Foreman Erik Harms and Gerardo Pena, a PG&E lineman called

Upcoming Calendar

06.07.2023 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
East Region Town Hall
06.08.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center
06.09.2023 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Crafters group
06.10.2023 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Crafters group
06.10.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
06.10.2023 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Farmers' Market at the Mercantile
06.12.2023 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Ladies of the Lake Quilt Guild
Lakeport Senior Center
Flag Day
06.15.2023 7:30 am - 8:30 am
Rotary Club of Middletown
Middletown Art Center

Mini Calendar



Award winning journalism on the shores of Clear Lake. 



Enter your email here to make sure you get the daily headlines.

You'll receive one daily headline email and breaking news alerts.
No spam.
Cookies! uses cookies for statistical information and to improve the site.

// Infolinks