Keeping birds out of SMUD’s electrical equipment – and avoiding power outages caused by birds – has been an ongoing effort by SMUD since the 1980s. You can help us – and our feathered friends – by calling SMUD’s Avian Protection hotline at 916-732-5063 to report outages caused by birds, or report birds that are building nests on utility poles or substations.
SMUD’s cost-effective strategies for keeping birds out of the electrical equipment are featured in our Avian Protection Plan. With the help of industry and wildlife experts, SMUD created a plan that includes things like adding space between power lines, reducing the chance of contact with birds’ wings. Likewise, SMUD adds insulated materials to its overhead system of poles and lines to keep birds from contacting energized equipment.
In addition to reports from customers like you, SMUD keeps an eagle eye out for “hot spots” where birds are coming into contact with system and then takes action. With 4,300 miles of overhead lines, that’s a big job.
SMUD also keeps tracks of the species of birds that are likely to come into contact with the electrical system. This information helps with the design of new facilities. One of the tools we use, is a Bird Identification Guide.
While not a complete guide to birds in SMUD’s territory, it does identify those birds who are apt to perch on electrical lines and those who sometimes fly low enough to encounter the lines. Photos of the birds and a description of their habitat are included.