Monk Parakeet Caused Northern NJ Outage
Utility officials say a power outage that affected hundreds of customers in northern New Jersey was caused by a monk parakeet that built its nest on a utility pole.
Public Service Electric & Gas says about 1,000 customers in Leonia, Edgewater and East Rutherford lost power around 5 a.m. Wednesday. But service was restored less than an hour later.
PSE&G spokeswoman Lee Gray tells The Record that the Monk parakeets prefer to build their nests on poles where the electricity can warm the nest. But the nests restrict air flow and cause transformers to overheat and short circuit.
While Monk parakeets are admired by some for their colorful plumage, others view them as a nuisance.
The birds were blamed for another outage last December that affected about 3,400 customers.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.