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Bird Protection

Our Bird Story

Southern Idaho and eastern Oregon are home to a rich diversity of hawks, eagles, falcons and owls—birds of prey, or raptors. This region also is home to hundreds of thousands of Idaho Power customers who count on us to safely and reliably deliver fair-priced power today and tomorrow.

Our service area encompasses habitat essential to birds of prey. Southwestern Idaho’s world-renowned Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area, for example, protects habitat important to raptors.

In the open country of the Intermountain West, raptors often use power poles to perch and nest. In limited situations, perching and nesting on power poles poses the risk of electrocution to the birds. It also poses the risk of power outages to our customers. We strive each day to effectively address both challenging issues.

Messy osprey nests can pose risks to the birds and the power system. Nests often need to be moved to safer nesting platforms.

Nest on pole being moved to safer location.

Protecting Birds of Prey

In 1972, we joined forces with Morlan “Morley” Nelson, a world-renowned birds of prey authority, to study the problem of eagles and power-line electrocutions.

That work produced useful findings and recommendations that have been improved over time.

Much of this work was documented in the 1980 film, Silver Wires, Golden Wings, by Nelson and his sons.

Today, we are partners with the Avian Power Line Interaction Committee (APLIC), a collaborative group of utilities and agencies seeking to reduce power-line threats to wildlife. We also actively coordinate with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and state wildlife agencies to manage conflicts between our power poles and lines and birds of prey.

Our Avian Protection Plan

Our Avian Protection Plan guides our efforts to protect raptors and other large birds while improving power reliability for our customers.

The plan includes:

  • Raptor-safe guidelines for all new electrical construction
  • Effective ways to modify existing poles and lines to make them safe for birds
  • Employee training to ensure compliance with our plan

You can learn more in the booklet, Our Bird Story (pdf).

If you have a question, we invite you to Ask A Scientist

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