Bird safety 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. Risk to birds on overhead lines
2. Legal Requirements
3. Solutions to prevent electrocutions
4. Solutions to prevent approach to power lines
5. Our Service

Risk to birds on overhead lines

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.


2. Death through approach
Scientific research has shown that over 70% of the injured die in Germany storks by collisions with overhead lines. Large birds are currently on approach in the field of high voltage lines at particular risk. Most birds collide with the earth wire, which runs as a single rope from top of the mast to mast top and is therefore very poorly perceived by birds.

Impact Donaumast:
Habitat of birds (scarecrow effect): 141ha
Birdstrike victims per year: 2,600
Birdstrike victims per year in
Using Birds marks: 260
Impact Singlesided mast:
Habitat of birds (scarecrow effect): 67ha
Birdstrike victims per year: less than 2,600 bird strikes victims per year for the use of Birds markers: less than 260
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

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

Legal Requirements

In the Berne Convention of 2004, due to the high risk to birds guidelines set to protect birds on overhead lines. These include the following key points:
  • The most dangerous of the existing structure types of medium voltage masts should be dispelled with reference to the prior art, the protection of birds on overhead lines.
  • Recommendation of underground cabling, especially in areas of particular ornithological importance in protected areas and in areas of the ecological network NATURA 2000
  • Conductors should be placed at a level arrangement. Particularly dangerous power lines should be marked with clearly visible markings.
  • In important bird areas in route planning alternative routes should be examined, at least one-year ornithological studies to be carried out (Day / Night).
  • To risks by means of electricity pylons and collision risks in all Member States will provide extensive data are collected.
So far, 45 states have joined the Convention. Germany has implemented the Convention into national law:
§ 53 of the Federal Nature Conservation Act BNatSchG:
"For the protection of bird species new to build masts and technical components of medium voltage lines are designed in such as, that birds are protected from Sromschlag. An existing masts and technical components of medium-voltage cables with a high risk to birds are within ten years of the measures needed to Protection against electric shock to perform. "

Concrete is the 8.10 of the construction specification for medium voltage overhead lines DIN VDE 0210/12.85, section:
"The crossmember, insulator holders and other components of the overhead power lines must be constructed so that no birds seating in the dangerous proximity of the live conductor is given."

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.

Our Service

  • Placement of bird hoods on overhead lines, and live. The method does not require shutdown of medium voltage overhead lines and has been specially designed for the retrofitting of existing overhead lines. Our workers protect themselves from danger and isolation by distance. The work is performed in accordance with applicable laws, regulations and technical rules.
  • Attachment of line markings (Scarefly / Firefly, RIBE Lasch bundle) via basket or helicopter. The line markings can be installed depending on the local situation is limited only to the neutral conductor.


User Information
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