'Killer Poles'

Hazards to Birds from Electricity

'Killer Poles'

High risk poles have certain features which can make them lethal to birds.
They are basically badly designed / constructed, with no thought for wildlife:

  1. small distance between the live wires
  2. conductive elements on the cross-arm
  3. a conductive pole (steel, concrete)
  4. often the presence of a transformer
  5. uninsulated connector wires
  6. exposed jumpers
  7. upright pin insulators
  8. complex configurations
  9. pole may conduct when wet
  10. steel crossbar invites perching
  11. arcing horns for lightning protection

electrocuted Upland buzzard, 27 August 2010, Uulbayan, Suhbaatar province.

Photo by Amartuvshin Purevdorj, 27 August 2010

Electrocuted Upland Buzzard, Uulbayan, Suhbaatar province, Mongolia.

the 'killer pole' at Hiraeth cottage which electrocuted Jimmy

Photo by Elfin Lewis

This is the medium voltage power pole which electrocuted Jimmy

which has 6 out of the 8 'Killer Pole' features listed above.

USA Central Maine Power Company employee pulls the body of an American bald eagle off the wires of a utility pole after it landed on the pole and was electrocuted.

eagle has been electrocuted on a complex designed pole with short distances between the live wires

This is one of the most dangerous types of pylons found in Bulgaria and Sudan with closely spaced live wires above the conducting crossbars and pin insulators.

a dangerous pylon, found in countries like Bulgaria and Sudan, where the live wires are above the crossbars

Solutions to killer poles and other mitigating actions can be read about here.

Images of 'Killer Poles' / UK and worldwide