Bureau Waardenburg
Varkensmarkt 9
4101 CK Culemborg
the Netherlands
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Effectiviteit van markering hoogspanningslijnen
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Research into the effectiveness of 'bird flaps'

'Bird flaps' are effective: fewer collision victims through the marking of power lines 

In 2009, TenneT, the body responsible for the Dutch power network, funded research into reducing the number of bird collisions with high voltage power lines. As part of this research, part of a 150kV line near Hazerswoude-Rijndijk in the Netherlands, was fitted with a new type of marking device: the 'bird flaps' (or 'vogelflappen'). In order to investigate the effectiveness of these 'bird flaps', Bureau Waardenburg carried out research into the numbers of collision victims along both marked and unmarked parts of the power line.

For more information, visit the TenneT website, view the report (in Dutch) or view the presentation given at the 2011 EOU congress.

Research set-up

During the winter of 2009/2010, searches for collision victims were carried out twice per week. Searches covered both marked and unmarked stretches of the 150kV power line. In addition to collision victim searches, the flight movements of birds around the power line was examined. This involved the use of radars, which allowed the flight movements of birds in the area to be studied during the most vulnerable periods; namely during twighlight and after dark. This research was comparable with a previous study along the same stretch of power line, which was undertaken in the winter of 2007/2008.

Results of the research

The research revealed that the 'bird flaps' led to a 67% reduction in the number of collision victims for bird that crossed the line during the day. The 'bird flaps' apparently allowed birds to detect the power line at a greater distance and adjust their altitude accordingly. In particular, the number of ducks, which made up a large proportion of the collision victims, reduced by around 80%. This is particularly interesting as most ducks passed the line at night. This suggests that the 'bird flaps' even increase the visibility of the line during periods of darkness.

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