American Transmission Co.

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Helicopters used to install bird diverters on five ATC transmission lines

ATC recently installed more than 1,800 bird diverters by helicopter on the wires of five transmission lines in Columbia, Dane, Sauk, Waupaca and Waushara Counties.

Using a light-duty helicopter from Winco Powerline Services, ATC’s construction partner M.J. Electric, LLC installed the diverters to help keep birds safe. ATC uses two types of bird diverters – one is coil-shaped and the other features reflective tape that enhances visibility to birds at dawn and dusk. Both have proven effective in reducing bird collisions with shield wires.

“The diverters increase visibility of the wires and help protect birds from contacting the transmission lines while in flight,” said Michael Warwick, ATC senior environmental project manager. “Most of the diverters will be installed over or adjacent to wetlands and bodies of water to help protect larger, heavy-bodied species that do not maneuver easily such as geese, swans, pelicans, cranes and other waterfowl.”

Installing the diverters during the first week of March ensured the avoidance of most bird species’ nesting seasons. Bird diverters are just one of ATC’s avian protection measures.

Check out video of bird diverter installations at Hartman Creek State Park in Waupaca County, Wis.