Protecting birds

As part of our commitment to the environment, we also protect our feathered friends. Please help us by reporting outages caused by birds or birds that are building nests on utility poles or substations.

SMUD’s Avian Protection hotline: 1-916-732-5657 

Avian Protection Plan

Diverse bird populations reside year-round in our service territory. They are at risk of coming in direct contact with electric wires or colliding with power lines when flying. This might cause a disruption to electric service, damage equipment or start a fire.

As part of our long-term relationship with the conservation community and regulatory agencies, we developed an Avian Protection Plan (APP) to reduce bird mortality and outages. It includes:

  • Training employees
  • Providing alternative nest structures
  • Installing perch deterrents
  • Adding insulation on wires
  • Installing markers to make power lines more visible to birds in flight
  • Increasing space between electrical lines

Read more about our plan

Bald eagle nest camera

Pair of Bald Eagles in a nest high up in a treeWe partnered with the US Forest Service - Eldorado National Forest to install a camera system on Sunset Peninsula at Union Valley Reservoir in the Crystal Basin Recreation Area.

Two high-definition cameras 185 feet up in a large ponderosa pine captured the sights and sounds of a pair of bald eagles that nested in the tree each year.

The project was part of our 50-year license issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to operate the Upper American River Project (UARP), SMUD’s hydroelectric system in the Sierra.