by Bob Wells
Power lines span the Platte River at Rowe Sanctuary near Gibbon, creating a deadly hazard to the approximately 450,000 Sandhill Cranes migrating through Central Nebraska. Amanda Hegg, a Conservation Program Associate at the Iain Nicolson Audubon Center at Rowe Sanctuary, will present original research she and research partners Cody Wagner and Dave Baasch, an endangered species specialist at the Crane Trust, conducted in March 2021. The trio posited that shining ultraviolet light on the power lines could enable cranes to see them more clearly and avoid life-threatening or debilitating collisions. Although ultraviolet light is largely invisible to humans, birds have the ability to see into the ultraviolet spectrum. The results of their experimental mitigation efforts were impressive – when ultraviolet light illuminated the power lines, collisions plummeted by 88 percent, compared to when the lights were turned off.
Learn more about this important research project by joining Amanda on Zoom, Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m. Look for a registration link to be posted on Audubon Society of Omaha’s Facebook page and our online calendar.
Sandhill Crane photo by Mike Benkis