Fiery osprey, goose rivalry countless power outages in Lake Country

Fiery osprey, goose rivalry

For the fourth time in a week, power was lost Thursday to 3,500 homes in Lake Country and on Westside Road due to osprey building nests on power lines, causing fires.

Osprey building their nests in the Okanagan isn't anything new, but the problem lies between them and their rival – the Canada goose.

Local resident Monia Daros says the osprey is an Okanagan icon and is worried they'll be run out of town.

"The goose is occupying the osprey nest and there is a fight every year at the same time. Now it looks like the goose is winning and gets to stay in the nest and the osprey has to find another nest,” said Daros.

Local residents are growing tired of the issue, understanding that birds need a place to live too, but admitting that something needs to be done to correct the repeated outages.

“It’s been frustrating because I had different things happening last Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but there is no power. When you have no power your internet doesn’t work, your cell phones go on data and the weather hasn’t been great so you're limited to what you can do,” said Lake Country resident Arlene Erickson.

BC Hydro says they use orange osprey guards to stop them from building nests on powerlines, but the osprey have found a way around that, - and now they’re considering using a fake model goose to scare off other birds.

“We’ve also notified the conservation office as well so that they’re aware of the situation and if it comes to it they can look at what they need to do to move the nests,” said Dave Cooper of BC Hydro.

BC Hydro says the geese that have taken over the osprey nests should hatch their eggs in the next couple days. When that happens, they’ll vacate the nests giving them back the osprey, hopefully.

Canada geese squatting in osprey nests is not a new phenomenon. In 2017, the Town of Osoyoos osprey webcam was taken over by a family of geese.

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