Diverters should prevent birds from hitting power linesby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
Duluth, Minn. — Duluth-based Minnesota Power is installing diverters on power lines to guide migrating birds away from the lines.
The diverters look like foot-long corkscrews, and they're installed on 44 miles of power lines that cross the route where a flock of whooping cranes migrates from Canada to Texas every year.
Minnesota Power spokeswoman Amy Rutledge says the birds tend to fly up when they see an obstacle.
"It's really a visible aid, so they can see that, fly up and above it, and keep safely on their way," she said.
Rutledge says Minnesota Power consulted with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service when it began expanding its wind power facilities in North Dakota.
Xcel Energy and other utilities are placing the diverters on their lines as well.