Risk to birds on overhead lines

Many bird species are in decline in their stock or even endangered. Play fatal shock on overhead lines and collisions a large role. In resting and pulling areas accidents up to 700 birds per year and line kilometers.

But it can be done a lot to overhead lines to make bird safer.

1. Death through electric shock

An electric shock is usually performed by a ground fault caused by bridging of live conductors and earthed components (mast). The greatest danger is from medium voltage lines. In these lines, the phase shifts are small, so that the birds settling can cause a short circuit or ground fault. Particularly dangerous are headframes with upstanding insulators (pin insulators).
In high-voltage lines, the distances between the phase conductors and the drooping Isolierketten contrast is so great that no short-circuit danger. Low-voltage pylons also pose no great danger, because the feathers protect birds from electric shocks at low voltages.

By electrocution and collisions threatened and endangered bird species

Buzzard, osprey, vultures, Ural, Imperial Eagle, Raven, Lanner falcon, red-footed falcon, red kite, lesser kestrel, rook, spotted eagle, serpent eagle, owl, vulture, lesser spotted eagle, black kite, black stork, white-tailed eagle, golden eagle, steppe eagle, eagle owl, peregrine falcon, white stork, Würgfalke, Booted Eagle (source: NABU 2002)
Dieter Haas, Bernd Schürenberg: Electrocution of birds: "Principles and Standards for the protection of birds on overhead lines"
GEO: "Nature conservation analysis of coastal power lines"
R & D Project FKZ 806 82 070

Statistical validation Momitoring the example Brandenburg
(Monitoring since 1993)
Species group
Electr. or Approach
414  295  98  21 
birds of prey
207  146  25  36 
103  133 
Crane and Great Bustard
89  89  -
Krähenvögel  61  50 
42  31 
Waders and Gulls
35  35 
Songbirds without corvids
27  20 
Pigeons 25  24 
other birds
13  13 
SUM 1.048  532  445  71 

Citation: Dieter Haas / Bernd Schürenberg

Solutions to prevent death by electrocution

The conductor insulation measures


Birds covers protect birds from contact with live conductors.



Spacers can prevent birds can come close to the current carrying conductors.

Constructive solutions:

  • Insulator assemblies duch their distances from earth or seating Shorts for birds exclude
  • Wood Pole (rare earth faults)
  • Dangle poles (at least 600mm down). For large birds (storks and large birds of prey) should be at least 750mm pure isolation track.
  • Tension towers with long rod insulators of >600mm insulator length of underpasses middle rope with suspension insulator, a triangular arrangement of isolators (in 3 levels) with >350mm distance of the upper rope to the top of the mast

Solutions to prevent approach to power lines

Birds marks should be selected whenever the sensitivity of birds has higher priority than the landscape. The markings reduce bird strike up to 90%.
We offer two options for line marking and an acoustic bird control system:

1. Wire Marker - Scarefly/Firefly

2. Wire Marker - RIBE

3. Acoustic Bird Control Systems


- with / without automatic activation control

Acoustic bird control systems play saved from bird calls of birds of prey and warning cries of endangered species. They are mounted on poles in a sufficient amount. Some models can be powered by a solar panel.
Go one step further camera systems that are constantly directed upwards. You recognize birds and automatically activate the acoustic defense system only if the bird falls below a minimum distance to the power line. Characterized the noise is reduced by the acoustic equipment to a minimum. Also, the habit of the birds on the signals can be effectively prevented.


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