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Avian Protection

Avian Protection

Duke Energy is committed to the protection of birds while providing safe and reliable power to our customers.

Our regulated service territory is located within one of the nation’s most important migratory flyways and provides seasonal nesting sites for hundreds of bird species. Our states’ rivers also provide natural habitat for bald eagles, ospreys and dozens of species of wading birds and waterfowl. Our commercial renewables footprint includes some of the most important stopover habitat and unique habitats throughout the United States. Our Avian Protection Plan is a comprehensive document that identifies and reduces the risk to birds and power generation, transmission, and delivery from avian interactions with all of Duke Energy’s facilities.

Here are just a few actions we’re taking:

  • Managing and reducing avian interactions with power lines, generation facilities, and substations by utilizing advanced design practices or protective material applications
  • Deploying Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to reduce the risk to birds from utility infrastructure

Habitat enhancement, good stewardship practices, and artificial nesting platforms to provide alternatives to many species in order to reduce use of energized equipment.

Learn more about how we survey river basins in the Carolinas to protect eagle habitat.

Cane Ridge Wildlife Management Area at Gibson Generating Station

Thousands of migratory waterfowl, shorebirds and other wetland-dependent animals have claimed a 463-acre wildlife management area near Gibson Generating Station in Indiana as their own. The Cane Ridge Wildlife Management Area, located south of the Gibson Station, is also home to one of the largest colonies of the federally endangered interior least tern east of the Mississippi River.

Dedicated in 2006, the Cane Ridge Area includes a 60-acre pond with two islands designed specifically to attract least terns. Each island is 3 acres in area, covered with gravel, and protected from land predators by solar-powered, electrified fencing.

The least terns began nesting at Gibson Station in the mid-1980s. What began as a small colony has grown into one of the largest nesting areas for the least tern east of the Mississippi River. The Cane Ridge Wildlife Management Area, owned and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, provides ideal nesting habitat for the terns. It also provides great habitat for many other species of wildlife.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife statistics show that, in addition to the terns, around 300 other bird species have been documented at Cane Ridge including the federally endangered wood stork and whooping crane. Surveys have produced high one-day counts of more than 12,000 ducks and 100,000 snow geese. The area also provides habitat for other endangered species, including the swamp rabbit and copper-bellied water snake.