What’s the deal with those small squares on power lines?

They’re called bird flight diverters, and they help birds steer clear of power lines.

Recently, @mmoulton on Twitter sent us this photo of one of the small reflective squares hanging from SRP power lines in Gilbert, and asked us to explain what they are. It’s a great question, and we’re guessing other folks may be wondering the same thing.

Here’s the answer: those 3″x5″ Flappers hanging from power lines are bird flight diverters, which help birds maneuver around power lines. They glow in the dark, spin and reflect light. We installed about 100 of them earlier this year on power lines along Gilbert Road from Queen Creek Road to Ocotillo Road.


Because those lines are located north of a nesting site for Neotropic Cormorants, a migratory bird, which are breeding and foraging at ponds and lakes along the boundary of Chandler and Gilbert. The power lines are difficult for birds to see in low light conditions so SRP installed those reflective hanging diverters to help the birds steer clear of the overhead lines in their flight path.

Our Avian Protection Program works closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department to help protect wildlife near electrical equipment. In addition to the 100 bird flight diverters in Gilbert, we’ve also installed another 20 diverters around the Valley.

Thanks to @mmoulton for the great question, and if you notice any bird issues in or around SRP power facilities please give us a call at (602) 236-BIRD.



SRP provides reliable, affordable water and power to more than 2 million people living in central Arizona. SRP has provided these essential resources for more than a century to meet the needs of customers and to help the Phoenix metropolitan area, known as the Valley, develop into one of the nation’s most vibrant regions. As a community-based not-for-profit water and energy company, SRP acts in the best interest of the people it serves and strives to help build a better future for Arizona.

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