Sitting ducks

Employees rescue birds from dangerous heat

Last week’s scorching heat could have proven fatal for some young birds if it wasn’t for the eagle eyes of employees.

At three SRP facilities, record-setting temperatures drove baby birds to jump from their nests, which had become too hot. The birds were too young to fly though and ended up on the ground, unable to escape the sun.

Thankfully, employees who had been through the internal Avian Protection Program training noticed them and called the SRP Bird Line.

“They were vigilant at their job sites and noticed that the birds appeared to be young — they still had some downy white feathers showing — and didn’t fly away when approached,” said Lesly Swanson, Senior Environmental Compliance Scientist/Engineer at SRP.

If you spot a bird in trouble around our equipment, please call the SRP Bird Line at (602) 236-BIRD (2473).

Swanson, who leads the training program, said the birds were skinny and dehydrated from being in the sun but were safely rescued.

SRP employees Nina Grimaldi, Karis Nelson and Diane Antonich helped man the Bird Line and coordinate the rescue of these birds. They were taken to wildlife rehabilitation nonprofit Liberty Wildlife, where they will be cared for until they are old enough to be released back into the wild.

We appreciate these employees who helped save the birds:

  • Jon Comstock, Senior Relay Technician, called in about a young red-tailed hawk in the Jojoba Switchyard.
  • Jacob Petersen and Jeff Lewis, both Substation Electricians, rescued a red-tailed hawk from Palo Verde Switchyard.
  • Hydro Generation’s Justin Mack, Operations Specialist; Gary Blakely, O&M Specialist; Chris Cliburn, Operations Specialist, rescued a baby peregrine falcon at Roosevelt Dam.
  • Jeff Conyers, Equipment Operator, Pump Maintenance, called in about a baby great blue heron and baby grackles, which all jumped out of nests in a cottonwood tree at Granite Reef Diversion Dam.
Heather Albert

Heather Albert

Heather is an Arizona native who works in Corporate Communications, overseeing SRP’s weekly employee publication. Outside of work, she likes to play sand volleyball, take her dog hiking, travel, read and bake pies.

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