As one of the few temperate-zone parrots, the monk parakeet is more able than most to survive cold climates partly because they build communal nests around heat-producing electrical equipment located on utility poles. Colonies of the Monk exist throughout the United States with some as far north as New York City, Chicago and Rhode Island.
A major investor-owned utility customer of G&W Electric in the Northeast was experiencing significant problems with flashovers and outages because of these communal nests. In this instance, it was a critical application outside a hospital where the existing reclosers were temporarily removed to prevent the nests from being built, thereby preventing any flashovers or outages. However, this only provided a short-term and less-than-ideal solution.
Working with the customer, G&W Electric was able to offer a longer-term solution that modified the existing structure and left little to no space for large, communal nests, some with up to 2-ft-long sticks. To prevent the birds from nesting, the space between the phases was increased along with the pole mount spacing. Finally, the junction boxes were relocated to below the crossarm frame and no longer provided a platform for these nests. This customized solution was implemented in late 2019 with no issues since the installation.