Avian Collision and Electrocution:
An Annotated Bibliography

Please note that this 1995 report has been superceeded by an on-line database.
Please go to: www.energy.ca.gov/research/environmental/avian_bibliography/

California Energy Commission
October 1995
Publication Number: P700-95-001

Elaine Hebert, Erin Reese, Principal Authors
Lauren Mark, Contributing Author
Richard Anderson, Project Manager
James A. Brownell, Supervisor
Biology, Water and Soils Unit

Robert B. Haussler, Manager
Environmental Protection Office

Robert L. Therkelsen, Deputy Director
Energy Facilities Siting & Environmental
Protection Division

This document is available from the Energy Commission's publications unit. Please contact them directly for the cost; ask about publication number P700-95-001.


The work on this annotated bibliography started in 1986 and progressed to completion with the assistance of several hard-working persons. We would like to acknowledge and thank these people for their efforts.

We are grateful to James Estep for the initial literature collection efforts. Over the years, Joan Humphrey, Martin Scheel, Katherine Bodeman-Wadsworth, and Dick Anderson continued the literature search. We could not have gathered such a diversity of books, reports, and articles without the dedicated and professional assistance of Diana Watkins and Mary Chilcote in the California Energy Commission's in-house library. We thank you all for your untiring efforts.

We also extend thanks to Tino Flores and Sue Foster of the California Energy Commission's Graphic Arts section for the cover design and final report format. We thank Julie Dinsdale for the cover artwork.

Finally, we thank Robert Haussler, James Brownell, Dave Maul and Dick Anderson for their editing assistance and for their support and encouragement throughout this project.


This annotated bibliography was initiated as a result of rising concern throughout the world about the losses of birds due to collisions with power lines and other wires, towers, wind turbines, and other structures, and from electrocution by power lines. We hope that the information contained in this bibliography will help reduce these unnecessary losses. This information can be used to improve the planning, structure configuration and design, siting location, and mitigation measures for new projects and for potential retrofit efforts where appropriate. These considerations would result in benefits to world bird populations and assist in avoiding costly delays and maintenance efforts resulting from bird collision and electrocution mortality. As the world's human population grows and development expands into rural and other undeveloped areas, the impact of engineered structures on bird populations becomes increasingly critical. I hope this annotated list will provide assistance to both those involved in the design and siting of these structures and those concerned about bird populations world-wide.

Richard L. Anderson
Wildlife Biologist
California Energy Commission
Sacramento, CA
September 20, 1995


Note about Internet edition. The subject other , taxonomic other , geographic other and author other are not linked to the various documents listed in this bibliogrpahy.



This project was initiated in response to numerous inquiries regarding avian collisions and electrocution mortalities at human-made structures. Problems caused by avian electrocution and collision with power lines include costly power outages and wildlands fires. These problems can result in expensive maintenance and repair efforts, inconvenience for rate payers, and unnecessary losses of birds. Public concern over these issues can also delay permitting and affect the routing of new facilities. Several state and federal laws may be enforced which could result in costly structural modifications of existing and new facilities.

Concerns regarding the causes and extent of avian mortality, locations of recurring incidents, and potential solutions have not always been adequately considered in the past. This compilation of literature on avian mortality will assist those industry and agency planners and researchers concerned with avoiding and resolving existing and future impacts of projects on avian species.

This bibliography contains entries mainly from 1876 to 1992, and the majority are from the United States. Most entries are taken from journals or periodicals, conference proceedings, government documents, private publications, utility company reports, books, academic theses, and newspaper articles. Copies of all items included in this bibliography are on file in the California Energy Commission's Environmental Protection Office.

Unless other ise noted, each item was read and annotated. Special attention was given to the following aspects of the reports: numbers of individual birds and species killed or injured, contributing factors, habitat and other locational characteristics, and design features of the structures which resulted in injuries or death.

Other annotated bibliographies on the subject of avian mortality at human-made structures are currently available. Two such documents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were used extensively for this publication; entries originating therefrom are noted by asterisks ("*" denotes Avery et al. 1978; "**" denotes Avery et al. 1980). The intent for this bibliography is to present an up-to-date compilation of the most significant articles available on the subject; periodic updates and reprinting of this report are planned. Please send notification of additional references and errors to "Avian Collision and Electrocution: An Annotated Bibliography" to the California Energy Commission, MS #40, 1516 9th Street, Sacramento, California 95814, USA. Suggestions to improve the format are also welcome.

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This annotated bibliography contains 468 citations of literature from the United States and other countries. Much of the literature selected discusses avian collision mortality with power lines, wind turbines, towers, or other structures. Other literature was selected for its discussion of avian species affected by electrocution. Non-English-language reports are included when an English summary was available.

This bibliography's format, modeled after Avery et al. (1978, 1980), is designed to be as efficient and as user-friendly as possible. Citations are other ed by subject matter, kinds of birds, locations, and authors; subject categories are broad and include the type of structures involved and the major topics discussed in the article