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Protecting Birds

Protecting Birds

Since utility poles are often the highest and most prominent point in a landscape, birds perch on the poles to hunt or rest. Unfortunately, doing so can increase risks for both the birds and our electric system. PG&E’s Avian Protection Plan seeks to protect migratory, threatened and endangered birds from these risks, while improving safety and reliability for our customers.

For the past 25 years, PG&E has led various bird species conservation initiatives. We are working collaboratively with organizations such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to minimize the dangers that transmission lines and other electrical equipment pose to birds. In 2008, PG&E won Audubon California’s first-ever Corporate Achievement Award for significant achievements in protecting California birds and important habitat.

A PG&E crew installs a nest platform in Ione, California. Nest platforms reduce outages and are preferred by large birds, such as ospreys

PG&E’s Avian Protection Plan

PG&E’s plan has set the standard for our industry and is one of the most comprehensive in the nation. Key components of the plan include:

Employee training and compliance. We educate our employees to ensure we comply with all federal and state bird protection laws.

Making our poles “bird-safe.” Since 2002, we have retrofitted more than 28,000 utility poles. We have proactively targeted over 14,500 utility poles and an additional 13,800 poles in high-risk areas where bird injuries or fatalities have occurred previously.

Public education and partnerships. We promote the need for migratory bird and habitat conservation in cooperation with federal and state agencies and non-profit organizations.

Endangered California Condors have a risk of colliding with PG&E’s power lines in remote Big Sur locations. PG&E has taken a number of steps to protect the birds, including developing a cutting-edge, long-lining helicopter technique to install special “bird flight diverters” along area power lines.


Learn More

Review our brochure or contact PG&E’s Mike Best at mbb8@pge.com or 209-932-2559.