Birds threats from powerlines
Electric power lines are recognized globally as one of the most important causes of bird mortality. In Europe, a large body of information exists regarding two main aspects: electrocution and collision.
Electrocution is of particular concern at distribution lines (medium-tension, 1 -66 kV). Birds getting in contact with a conductor and a grounded pole element or with two conductors can be lethal electrocuted. The key factor that determines the risk is the pole design / configuration.
Collision with lines can happen at all types of lines (from low-tension distribution lines to ultra-high-voltage transmission lines) and is mainly influenced by their location, structural configuration, and by external factors such as visibility, flight conditions and surrounding habitat.
Although all bird species can become victim of electrocution and collision, some species are especially vulnerable due to their size, morphology, behavior and distribution. Imperial eagles and White Storks are some of these vulnerable species.
Stichting BirdLife Europe gratefully acknowledges financial support from the European Commission. All content and opinions expressed on these pages are solely those of Stichting BirdLife Europe.