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Storks and high voltage networks

We all know storks: they are white, big, elegant, beautiful and the popular legend says that they deliver babies to their mothers.

For our sector, they are also responsible for causing troubles. If you are an electrical engineer, substation maintenance lead or maintenance technician, and work in this particular field or in the distribution overhead lines, you also know that when a bird makes contact between phases or between phase and ground, they can cause a short circuit that will lead to a flashover and even a shutdown.

Most of the birds bridge on high voltage networks when taking off. But storks in particular are a threat for high voltage networks for many other reasons:

They are big: their wingspan is 3.2 meters long and can weigh up to 8 kilos.

They love high structures: the places they choose to rest and nest are not only high, but also commonly man-made, like electrical poles and towers, antennas, churches, buildings and chimneys.

Their nests are huge: they can reach a diameter of 3 meters a height of 2 meters and can weigh between 200 and 400 kilos.

They come in combo: they usually meet in large congregations to breed, they put between 4 and 7 eggs and both parents participate in incubation. Together they make a construction-like sound. Click here to see and hear them!

They will always come back: storks usually come back year after year to the same spot to nest.

Even their feces can bridge: their feces are so long they have been reported to bridge and cause short-circuits themselves.

What does this all mean to any high voltage asset? If you are lucky enough not to experience a short circuit with a stork when taking off, maybe their nest, friends, babies or feces will do. So, to be on the safe side, it’s better to protect and cover all electrical parts to prevent all of the above.

How? For example, Midsuns’s E/Products is a line of wildlife outage protection products made out of silicone that will cover all parts of the line to avoid birds from bridging, without harming them and allowing them to rest, nest and roam freely without bridging. The covers usually recommended for these cases are the E/Insulation silicone sleeves, the E/bushing covers and the E/Silicone Sheets.

You will not only avoid shut downs and interruptions but also costly fines. In Spain, for example, this species is protected and removing their nests has gone from being an offense to a crime. The removal or destruction of white stork nests can carry penalties between six months and two years in prison if carried out during the reproduction period of the species.

From a humanitarian perspective, Midsun’s E/Products will allow you to protect the species and the ecosystem, avoiding human-made structures to intrude and affect our wonderful wild-life.

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