A completed alternate nesting platform for the quaker parrots contructed by the NWBR group in the town of Yacolt.
Courtesy Christopher Driggins
Yacolt Town Council and Clark Public Utility (Clark PUD) agreed on a nest management plan to handle the naturalized colony of quaker parrots in the town of Yacolt, Wash.
The Yacolt nest management plan utilizes the orange sleeves used in the nest maintenance program model established by the East Coast utility company, Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G). Alison Evans-Fragale, founder of Edgewater Parrots in New Jersey first brought the model to the community earlier this year.
“The orange sleeves deter the parrots from building on the utility poles,” said Karen Holyk, Yacolt Town Council member. Clark Public Utilities generously agreed to purchase and install them at their own expense.”
Mick Shutt, Clark Public Utility (Clark PUD) corporate communications manager, said that Clark PUD agreed to purchase the orange sleeves, for up to 15 poles, at about $800 for the sleeve material. Clark PUD has confirmed details for the orange sleeves from PSE&G and will begin the process in placing 5 orange sleeves on utility poles, Shutt said.
Clark PUD will continue to remove all unoccupied, starter nests (a small collection of twigs in the beginning stages of becoming a nest if allowed to remain) and will leave the nesting material for the groups installing the alternative nesting areas for the quaker parrots, Shutt said. Also, as part of the agreement, Clark PUD will notify the Yacolt Town and the Yacolt Parrot Preservation Association (YPPA) if a nest is identified as inhabited and will not immediately tear it down. In this event, Shutt said that Clark PUD will allow a couple of weeks for the construction of an alternative nest before removing an inhabited nest.
Although volunteers working to help the quaker parrots are still divided about how to handle the quaker parrots, action to put up the alternative nesting poles has begun to take place between the two groups.
Nick Peck, YPPA vice president, said that YPPA has erected two of the 18 to 20-foot-tall alternative nesting poles placed closed to the original quaker parrot nesting site. The pole model YPPA is using is based on a design contributed by Marc Johnson, co-director of Foster Parrots Ltd. (an East Coast parrot rescue, adoption and sanctuary facility.)
Christopher Driggins, founder of the N.W. Bird Rescue, said that his group has already erected three base poles for the 30-foot alternative nesting poles, and has permits for three more poles in process. Driggins’ group is working to get a seventh permit approved at a property location currently being sold. NWBR volunteers working on trying to obtain a permit to build on this property requested the Yacolt mayor ask Clark PUD to install an orange sleeve at this location, and not to take down nests near it for at least 3 months to allow the quaker parrots time to build at the proposed alternative nesting platform, Driggins said. Evans-Fragale and some other East Coast bird rescue groups have been working with NWBR volunteers on their efforts.
Both groups appear to agree that outside assistance should not be harassing Clark PUD workers removing unoccupied, starter nests from the utility poles.
One Clark PUD worker felt threatened while attempting to remove two starter nests and left without removing them, Shutt said.
For more information on YPPA’s efforts, send an email here.
For more information on NWBR volunteers’ efforts, visit the NWBR website here.