Back to Environment and Sustainability

Avian Protection Program

Our Avian Protection Program is one way we are building a legacy of environmental stewardship. Every year, this program saves birds of prey - and other wildlife -from potentially deadly encounters with power lines. We are committed to complying with federal laws that protect eagles and migratory birds, including the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Bald and Gold Eagle Protection Act, and the Endangered Species Act.

The Ameren Illinois Avian Protection Program includes these proactive measures to protect birds from dangerous encounters with power lines:

New, Avian-Safe Construction Standards

We revised our construction standards to ensure that new distribution lines and substations include insulated components or increased spacing between wires so eagles, hawks, owls, and other large birds of prey can land on a line and spread their wings- safely. 

Flight Diverters

Reflective devices have been installed on power lines crossing lakes and wetlands to help large birds, such as swans, blue herons or pelicans, avoid collisions with power lines. The diverters can be seen from a greater distance than the power line, allowing the bird more time to correct its flight path and avoid injury. 

Responsible Nest Management

We work with the proper government agencies when nests must be removed from utility poles or transmission towers for safety or reliability reasons. Only inactive nests of non-endangered species are removed. 

Protective Covers in High-Risk Areas

After inspecting more than 150 distribution circuits located near known raptor nests, we added insulating products on hundreds of structures that posed the greatest risk to large birds of prey. For example, protective covering on the center phase of a three-phase pole top allows large birds to perch anywhere on the pole without being electrocuted. 

Workforce Training

Ameren Illinois has trained thousands of employees and contractors on the installation and use of avian products, new construction standards, and proper handling and reporting related to protected species and their nests. 

A Safer Future for Feathered Friends

Ameren Illinois is implementing a 10-year plan to upgrade our electric and natural gas delivery system. As we replace utility poles, distribution lines and transformers, our new construction standards will ensure that all new structures are 100 percent avian-safe. Ultimately, we aim to make every structure in our service territory safe for birds of prey. 

Along with protecting birds and other wildlife, our Avian Protection Program helps reduce the number of power outages caused by animal interference, so we can provide the reliable energy our customers count on. 

Ameren Illinois is proud to support the conservation efforts of these non-profit organizations: 

  • Illinois Raptor Center
  • TreeHouse Wildlife Center
  • World Bird Sanctuary

We have partnered with these wildlife champions to educate the next generation on conservation and electric safety. In joint presentations featuring live birds of prey, young people will gain a greater appreciation for these majestic birds and the dangers associated with power lines. 

Alert Info