Birds


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If raptors or birds of prey (eagles, hawks, owls, ospreys, or vultures) are causing your problems, return to the search menu and click on the eagle. These birds are treated separately since some of them are Threatened and Endangered species.

If blue herons or woodpeckers are the problem, return to the search menu and click on the heron or woodpecker.

We've added a new section for monk or quaker parakeets so return to the search menu and click on the parakeet. These birds have become a serious problem for utilities from Colorado to New York.

Now we can try to deal with the #1 cause of outages on transmission systems and in substations... birds.

Like squirrels, birds have certain instinctive behavior which can wreck havoc with utilities. Most birds will assemble in large groups or flocks for feeding and traveling as well as sleeping. Even birds that do not normally travel or sleep together will form temporary flocks for feeding. Imagine what can happen when several hundred to several thousand birds decide to take a break from stripping a field and perch on nearby utility lines. These types of outages can be very hard to identify since the birds are usually long gone by the time the line crew arrives.

Birds, having learned that there is safety in numbers, will share a permanent site or roost for sleeping. However, birds carry the idea of "safety in numbers" to ridiculous lengths. It is not at all unusual for these roosts to house millions of birds at one time. Suppose that one or more of your substations has been selected as home, sweet home. Not only do you now have a contaminated site (not even the most ardent bird fancier can deny that birds are messy and many birds in one place are very, very, messy...), but a major substation outage is just a wingtip away. Even if birds are not roosting in your substation, they may be using the structure as a staging area. Just before dark, birds will begin to gather in one location (your substation) until the flock is formed. The flock will then fly away to their roost, leaving behind a mess and possibly an outage.

We will put the bad news right up front, removing roosting birds from a substation is a difficult, frustrating, and time-consuming problem. But... sometimes it can be done.

Roosting and staging are not the only problems substations face, there are also nesting birds. In addition to the usual problems of contamination and outages caused by crowding, nesting birds attract predators (raccoons, cats, snakes) who often cause outages when climbing through the station looking for nests. A warning...regular inspections of substations and prompt removal of bird nests is not always the answer. Once some types of birds select a nesting site, they will attempt to re-build their nests as often as the nests are removed.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
If you would like some help in designing and implementing a comprehensive program for getting your animal-caused outages under control, drop us a line. Don't forget to check the Bulletin Board. If you don't see anything there to help, leave a questionand we'll post it. Be sure to check the Product Catalog to see what commercial products are available.


Back to...
Outage Menu
Animal Menu
Substations
Overhead Devices
Conductors