For 30 years we've worked to preserve bird habitats and prevent eagles, osprey, hawks, trumpeter swans and other birds from coming into contact with power lines and utility equipment. Puget Sound Energy's Avian Protection Program promotes a consistent avian-safe system across our eight-county electric service area. While it is not possible to prevent all injurious contact between birds and electric equipment, we make significant investments to reduce the number of incidents.
Our Avian Protection Program is recognized by federal wildlife officials as an industry model for reducing the impact of utility equipment on migrating and resident bird populations. While the number of eagles has increased significantly in recent years, we've seen no increase in eagle mortalities from contact with our electrical system. Small-bird mortalities also have been reduced through our efforts. Both of these facts are a testament to the effectiveness of our bird-protection programs.
We are constantly assessing and reassessing the programs and procedures we have in place to continue to reduce our electrical system's impact on birds.
We evaluate what works and proactively improve our standards.
- We conduct bird surveys near our electrical facilities to assess problem areas and identify high-priority sites for elevated bird-protection efforts.
- We minimize impact on nesting, roosting and wintering habitat by working with our engineers and utility-infrastructure planners to ensure avian safety is part of all projects.
- We exchange information and partner in the field on bird-protection initiatives with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
- We respond to bird issues at company facilities and take corrective actions throughout our service area.
- We are continually refining and implementing construction standards that minimize bird interaction with our electrical system.
We are a member of the Avian/Power Line Interaction Committee and a contributor to its nationally recognized publication, Suggested Practices for Avian Protection on Power Lines.
A few of the specialized tools we use to reduce the risk of bird electrocution:
- Over the past 20 years, we have built more than 60 osprey nests in isolated areas away from power lines.
- Since 2004, we have installed:
- More than 4,500 bushing covers on transformers to prevent bird and squirrel electrocution and to reduce power outages.
- Approximately 3,000 bird guards that allow birds to land safely on utility poles.
- Since 2003, we have installed more than 7,000 bird flight diverter devices.
- In order to provide a safe place for birds to perch in open areas, we have installed over 100 perches.
Avian Protection Program Brochure