Screech keeps ravens out of substation

Posted: Wednesday, September 03, 2008

ANCHORAGE - A loud recorded screech is keeping ravens out of an Anchorage substation and helping keep the power on for customers of the Chugach Electric Association.

The director of line operations for the utility, Bill Bernier, said this week there have been no raven-caused outages since the recording was turned on. The 40-second screech is repeated every five minutes. Bernier said he was told the sound from the Bird-X company of Chicago mimics the distress call of a raven, but others think it sounds like a falcon.

Either way, it's driving away ravens who have caused outages when their wingspan shorts out high-voltage wires.

The screeching Elmore Road substation is at the end of an undeveloped dirt road, so the only people startled are hikers and bikers.

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