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On-Line Annotated Bibliography of
Avian Interactions with Utility Structures

Search the On-Line Avian Bibliography:
Retrieve List of All Entries:

If you have a bilbiographic reference that should be included in our database,
please e-mail Linda Spiegel - lspiegel@energy.state.ca.us

On-Line Bibliography Database Contributors
Kevin Hunting, Principal Author
Marcus Yee, Contributing Author and Technical Editor
Linda Spiegel, Research Project Manager
Kelly Birkinshaw, PIER Program Area Team Lead
Gabriela Peña, Database Programming, CEC Web Development Team

PIER Program Area: Energy-Related Environmental Research


Avian interactions with utility structures have been documented for more than 100 years. They may be positive, as in the case of transmission line towers providing nesting opportunities in areas where nest substrate may be a population-limiting factor, or they may be negative as characterized by birds colliding with wires or being electrocuted. The body of literature documenting these interactions is substantial as evidenced by the more than 1,200 citations in this bibliography. Most published and popular accounts of interactions attempt to describe and quantify impacts to individual birds and bird populations from collision or electrocution events. A few describe the more positive aspects of interactions including tower nesting, development of cooperative and pro-active programs for addressing the issue, and unique approaches to modifying utility structures, or the operations necessary to maintain and improve them, to minimize impacts. The purpose of this on-line annotated bibliography is to provide a comprehensive source of information on avian-utility structure interactions and a system for accessing this information in an organized and efficient manner.

The bibliography is an update to one created by the California Energy Commission in 1995 entitled Avian Collision and Electrocution; An Annotated Bibliography (California Energy Commission, October 1995, publication # 700-95-001). The avian collision and electrocution bibliography originally contained about 490 citations and was considered the most comprehensive source of compiled information on the issue at the time. The strength of the document was a library collection of every paper in the bibliography. The new on-line bibliography updates this effort with additional literature and popular articles and creates an electronic version supporting subject- or location-oriented search capabilities.

Scope and Extent

The on-line bibliography is comprised of published literature, popular articles, newspaper stories, and industry technical papers that address avian electrocution and collision and closely related topics. Most entries attempt to describe and quantify the impacts of avian collision with transmission line wires and structures and avian electrocution as a result of contact with distribution lines and associated structures. Some entries describe closely related phenomenon including transmission tower nesting, nesting and use of substation facilities, use of radar and other remote sensing technologies for flight intensity determinations, and research and development of physical and organizational solutions for minimizing collision and electrocution impacts. Other entries describe avian collisions with guy wires and support wires for television towers and are included in support of a broader understanding of wire collisions in general.

The on-line bibliography does not include avian interactions with utility structures directly attributable to wind energy development except in cases where a new method, approach, or metric is described or the topic is directly applicable to collision and electrocution events (e.g., description of a method for sampling bird carcasses along a distribution line servicing a wind generator). It does not include papers or articles describing avian collisions with windows or buildings unless they are related to electrical transmission or distribution. Similarly, the bibliography intentionally omits papers and articles dealing with collision along roads by automobiles and other structures.

The extent of the bibliography is global with an emphasis on the United States and California.


Table 1 (below) contains a complete list of keywords used to develop the bibliography.

Table 1
Annotated Bibliography Keywords

Countries U.S. States Interaction/Mode Taxonomic Groups/Species Statutes Mitigation and Retrofit
Africa Alaska Collision Albatross BEPA BFD
Argentina Arizona Electrocution Bat ESA BSI
Australia Arkansas Tower Nesting Ciconiiformes IUCN BSM
Bulgaria Bahamas Wind Condor MBTA Effigies
Canada California   Corvid   Mitigation
Colombia Colorado Methods Crane Organizations Orange Sphere
Denmark Delaware Bias Factors Eagle Eskom Pendant Strip
England Florida GIS Egret Partnership Retrofit
  Georgia Methods Galliformes Program SFD
Europe Hawaii Metrics Grebe USFWS Suggested Practices
Finland Idaho Monitoring Grouse SVD
France Illinois Radar Gruiformes Structures Swinging Plate
Germany Indiana Remote Sensing Gull Building  
Greece Iowa Risk Factor Heron Conductor Biological and Ecological Attributees
Holland Kansas Risk Model Ibis Corridor Behavior
Hungary Kentucky   Mammals ELF Biological Significance
Iceland Maine   Osprey Fiscal Impact Habitat
India Maryland   Owl Ground Wire Migration
Ireland Massachusetts   Passerine Outages Morphology
Israel Michigan   Pelican Pole Design Prey
Italy Midway Island   Pelecaniformes Ship Training
Japan Minnesota   Ptarmigan Siting Weather
Mexico Mississippi   Rail Turbine  
Mongolia Missouri   Raptor Tower Other
Netherlands Montana   Raven TV Bibliography
New Zealand Nebraska   Seabird   Lighting
Norway Nevada   Shorebird    
Poland New Jersey   Stork   Reference
Portugal New Mexico   Swan   Streamers
Russia New York   Tern    
Scotland North Carolina   Vulture    
Spain North Dakota   Waterfowl    
Sweden Ohio   Woodcock    
Switzerland Oklahoma        
U.S. Oregon        
Venezuela Pennsylvania        
  South Carolina        
Other Locations South Dakota        
San Joaquin Valley Texas        
  West Virginia        

Description of Keyword Structure

With very few exceptions, each bibliographic entry is attributed with keywords indicating a place, taxonomic group or species, and type of interaction. In addition, entries may be attributed with one or more keywords referencing codes, statutes and agencies (e.g., MBTA, USFWS), life history and species structural attributes (e.g., behavior, morphology), study design and approach (e.g., bias factors, metrics), and physical utility structure attributes (e.g., pole design, ground wire). Place names are limited, in most cases, to the name of the country where the study was carried out or action undertaken if it was outside the United States. Entries addressing studies, impacts, or actions within the United States are attributed with the name of the state unless, on rare occasions, the paper did not specify a state in which case the entry is attributed with U.S.


The on-line bibliography is the result of two years work identifying and obtaining papers from more than 100 sources worldwide. Sources included the Internet, public and university libraries, non-profit organizations, foundations, and in some cases, directly from publishing authors. We would like to acknowledge the assistance of the following individuals in obtaining entries and providing leads for additional public works that eventually became part of this bibliography.

  • Janet Bell - Assistant Librarian, Wilson Ornithological Society, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan
  • Linda Butterworth - Reference Librarian, Prescott College
  • Robin Chancellor - World Working Group for Birds of Prey and Owls
  • Phillip Detrich - U.S. Forest Service
  • Betsy Didrickson - Librarian, International Crane Foundation
  • Susan Finn - Administrative Assistant, International Crane Foundation
  • Barbara Forderhase - Environmental Education Specialist, Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area
  • Barbara Gentil - University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Richard Harness - Researcher, EDM International
  • Janet Hinshaw - Librarian, Wilson Ornithological Society, Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan
  • Dr. John Ledger - Dr. John Ledger and Associates
  • Bruce Martin - Researcher, Cambridge Bird Club
  • Sue McMurray - University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources
  • Tersia Perregil - Collections Manager, Transvaal Museum, So. Africa
  • Maggie Sage - Researcher, The Wildfowl Trust
  • Carole Showell - Librarian, British trust for Ornithology
  • Andrew Smith - Editor-in-Chief, Industrial Applications Magazine, IEEE
  • Linda Spiegel - California Energy Commission
  • Chris Van Rooyen - Endangered Wildlife Trust
  • Jane Waters - Ringing Unit Secretary, British Trust for Ornithology

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