Osprey nest blamed for Oak Bluffs power outage 

Over 2,000 customers lost power in Oak Bluffs. — Courtesy of MEMA

Updated 10:53 pm

More than 2,000 Eversource customers in Oak Bluffs were struck by a power outage on Wednesday night. 

Eversource officials say an osprey nest on top of a utility pole came in contact with wires and caused a fault, which damaged electrical equipment. The fault also caused the primary line to be downed at the intersection of County Road and Wing Road. 

According to Eversource’s power outage map, 642 customers near the Webster Avenue area were without power, and 1,801 customers near the Wing Road area were without power. Both outages occurred about 8:10 pm and 8:11 pm respectively. 

By a little past 10 pm, power was largely restored, although a small batch of fewer than five customers near Naumkeag Avenue experienced outages at around 10:11 pm. 

In total, up to 62 percent, or 2,443, customers, lost power, according to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. 

The outage also forced businesses on popular Circuit Avenue to close early. 

This isn’t the first bird-related power outage Eversource had to deal with. In December, a pigeon coming into contact with electrical equipment caused thousands of down-Island customers to lose power.


  1. We have Gus BenDavid to thank for his “Osprey Project” which he started many decades ago with the support of the electric company. Gus got them to supply poles for alternative nest sites so not only did these events occur less frequently, but they also contributed to the resurrection of the nearly extinct osprey population on the island. In recent years there have been over a hundred poles supporting this comeback.Thank you Gus !!

    • Dump two small glasses of water into a bigger glass. Then, take a swig. Which original glass did your gulp come from?

      You can’t tell, of course, nor could you ever separate the original water back into its original two smaller glasses. You can refill the two, sure, but, now both glasses contain a mix of what had previously been in both.

      Electricity is like that, too. Once it’s in the grid there’s no telling where that particular electron came from.

      • You missed the….
        Of course the island does not “get” any power from Vineyard Wind. Read the biased comments.

      • Kevin, we need to become independent from the grid by using a small windmill farm and solar panels on our own property to generate electricity. Then we will know where every electron is coming from. And if a foreign nation attempts an attack on our grid, our own house won’t be impacted.

  2. They ought to burry the all the lines in conduits under bike paths, that would solve their tree problems and bird 🦅 problems. The cost would be higher on the front end and lower over time if they spliced correctly.

    • Absolutely NOT!
      When there is a problem (which is more often these days) HOW do they identify where it is and then they are going to have to dig up the area and stop or slow vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
      Look at the half finished telephone poles, do we need that mess all over and pot holes and mud?

  3. Why don’t we tell it like it really is, the headline ought to be, “utility pole intrudes into Osprey habitat, causes power outage.”
    Sounds at present to be blaming the victim for this power outage.

    • James–I agree– better yet- how about “utility pole intrudes into Osprey habitat,
      fries eggs, toast fledglings, electrocutes caring Adult osprey heroically
      trying to save their offspring” .
      It seems the Times could care less about what happened to the
      unfortunate Osprey family that likely occupied that nest.

      Just pure ethnocentric concern about some people
      losing power for a few hours.
      What do think the response would be here if a whale
      came into contact with an electrical line coming from the windfarm
      and the headline was “whale causes power outage “? Would that be an acceptable
      headline ? Would the Times ignore the fate of the whale? Would the win-o-phobes
      blame the whale for cutting their power ?
      Oh– I know, we all love the Ospreys and the whales…. but not if they
      interfere with us watching you tube videos about cute cats.

  4. I agree with James Kozak. When people destroy animals’ habitats, they get upset when the animals do what is natural and try to adapt. Also, lately, some folks who have moved here from the suburbs don’t know how to live with nature; they want to control it. They move into an area, cut everything down, and then they wonder why their driveway keeps washing away, and it is so windy. Wake up and live with nature people.

    • Charles and James,
      Stay where you are or accept the difference between the two.
      Buy or rent near noise and or smells DON’T EXPECT EVERYONE TO CHANGE FOR YOU.

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