Protecting Birds

Working to keep them safe

Birds like to perch and nest on power poles and other utility equipment. This can cause problems for both birds and PGE customers.

Our work is guided by an Avian Protection Plan that outlines several ways to make our facilities safer for birds and reduce the outages they and other wildlife cause.

Some examples are:

PGE continues to look for opportunities to improve bird protection and system reliability throughout our company. We strive to improve and update our program and proactively address issues before they arise.

If you want to report a bird issue near our facilities or power lines, please call PGE customer service at 800-542-8818.

If you find an injured bird not related to PGE facilities you can contact the Portland Audubon Society Wildlife Care Center PGE.

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Sherwood: PGE worked with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to help save the nest of a resident pair of bald eagles at the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.

The nest was located on top of a dying oak tree, which was in danger of falling over, and PGE crews provided both the equipment, normally used for working on electrical wires and power poles, and the manpower to stabilize the tree so that it wouldn’t fall over. Since then, the two eagles have raised at least one baby in that nest.

Salem: Leadman repairman Joe Evans helped rescue an osprey that had picked up baling twine from a nearby field, and on its way to its nest, got caught up in a power line in a farming area of Salem. “They are a very, very docile bird,” says Evans, who has worked at PGE for more than 30 years. “You just have to stay away from their claws.”

Central Oregon: PGE monitors raptor populations throughout most of Jefferson County’s 1,791 square miles, gathering annual data on bald and golden eagle nests and productivity (number of eaglets in the nest).

PGE inventories and maps raptor nests and their productivity in 11 bald eagle territories and 22 golden eagle territories on land owned by the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management and others.

Our biologists also conduct annual raptor inventories at Biglow Canyon Wind Farm and Tucannon River Wind Farm, and PGE shares the data with federal, state and tribal resource agencies.

Dayton, Wash. area: A summer thunderstorm had damaged a red-tailed hawk nest near our Tucannon River Wind Farm, and a PGE biologist who was monitoring the nest and its inhabitants noticed a baby red-tailed hawk we had been keeping a close eye on was stuck in a tree, hanging upside down.

Using a bucket truck, a crew worked quickly to safely remove him from his perilous perch. The biologist then transported our feathered friend to the Blue Mountain Wildlife rehabilitation center in Pendleton for a checkup.

Downtown Portland: Crews see birds in distress while working on lines out in the field, but it’s less common at our corporate headquarters. So when an employee saw a sharp-shinned hawk trying in vain to fly through the glass windows at the World Trade Center, she knew who to call.

Wildlife biologist Andy Bidwell just happened to be at his desk, and rescued the bird, whom onlookers feared was going to continue to batter itself against the glass. Oregon law prohibits lay people from messing around with protected birds, but PGE has a permit to handle birds when they’re in jeopardy or injured.

See a bird in trouble?

If it’s near or related to PGE lines or equipment, call us at 800-542-8818. If it’s a general bird safety issue, you can also call Audubon Society at 503-292-0304.

Read about habitat restoration projects we fund on the Deschutes, and about the many community groups we work with to protect fish and other wildlife.