Financial and social impacts from structural damage and supply disruption

The electrocution of large birds like raptors and storks can cause damage to electricity lines and interrupt power supplies, creating a challenging problem for power distribution companies in areas where such electrocution events are frequent.

Damage caused by bridging, where a bird makes contact between phases or between phase and ground, can cause damage to cable strands but more often electrocution events damage equipment (e.g., transformers, blown fuses and arresters). Occasionally, large electrocuted birds will remain in place resulting in a failure of the circuit to re-energize until a maintenance crew removes the bird.

It has been estimated that animals are responsible for up to ten per cent of all outages at electricity distribution lines in the United States, where the cost of a single outage can cost thousands of dollars and inconvenience many customers.


How to make power infrastructure safe for birds