Davey Resource Group, Inc. installed 200 modified pipeline markers throughout several counties in Ohio to allow cavity-nesting birds to thrive in ROW habitats.
Part of maintaining rights-of-way (ROWs) is the removal of wood debris and dead trees so pipeline markers can be easily identified. Cavity-nesting birds like to nest in natural tree cavities, which makes it difficult for utilities to properly maintain their ROWS while being mindful of natural habitats.
House wrens found new homes in the specially designed pipeline markers that include nesting cavities thanks to the work of Davey Resource Group (DRG) on behalf of their client TC Energy. These specially designed markers in the ROWs helped create more habitat for the birds to safely nest.
In time for the 2020 nesting season, DRG installed 200 specially designed pipeline markers supplied by TC Energy throughout Ohio along the Columbia Gas Transmission system. DRG also monitored to see if birds nested in these cavities. The work is part of a collaboration with TC Energy to showcase their rights-of-way (ROW) as an asset.
“It’s great our client could tie a sustainability aspect into their ROW stewardship and create additional nesting habitats for these birds,” said Cheryl Daniels, principal consultant. “Nest monitoring isn’t something we normally offer. But, we have qualified and experienced staff members in this area and it was great to use their skills for this project.”
House wrens claimed these nesting cavities in 2020, but the markers can support a variety of native bird species. Theresa Wolanin, senior environmental scientist, anticipates that in 2021 other bird species will use the cavities. It can take up to a year for other birds to discover the markers.
A DRG report based on data and visual media collected in 2020 for TC Energy includes recommendations on increasing species diversity using the boxes. TC Energy now has the blueprints for repeating the project and using it to connect with stakeholders and the public in other states. TC Energy is acting on those plans and has retained DRG in 2021 to repeat the monitoring effort in Ohio and to expand the program elsewhere on their system.
“Our staff was well equipped and qualified to perform this kind of work,” said Dan Williams, project developer. “DRG’s big picture client focus, local expertise, and highly responsive environmental consulting resources made it possible to bring a high level of both science and visual imagery into this project.”