The Problem

An oil company operating in the Eastern Plains of Colombia recently changed the system powering its pumps from diesel generators to electricity. Over a 35km stretch of transmission line crossing the savannahs they have experienced over 80 outages in 7 months. The problem seems to have been pinned down to animal caused outages, more specifically streamers from hawks perching on the guard cable posts. (See structure diagram.) The poles are the highest structures in the area. The hawks ‘still hunt’ and ‘rest’ on the poles during the day and some roost there at night. Outages have been experienced at all hours of the day and night. Excrement has been found on many of the insulators and on the ground below the poles.

Very few corpses have been found under the structures and no bird electrocution related damage has been observed on the structures.

The main species involved seem to be Buteo albicaudatus (White-tailed hawk:20-24”) and Heterospizias meridionalis (Savanna Hawk: 18-24”). Falco sparverius (American Kestrel: 9-11” ) also perches on the posts regularly. The black vulture (Coragyps atratus: 22-26”)was also seen on the posts but not in such great numbers.

A deterrent is needed to prevent the birds from perching on the structure and stop the contamination of the insulators. Any ideas???