PNM is proud to be a partner in the development of a fish
passage designed to help the endangered Colorado pikeminnow
and razorback sucker to move upstream in the San Juan River.
Birds are attracted to power lines because of the height
of the poles, especially birds of prey such as eagles and
hawks. The tallest place offers the best view, and often
power poles offer the height birds seek. But sometimes they
can touch live wires, causing electrocution.
At PNM, we are working on solutions. Selectively wrapping
wires and transformers on older power poles with an insulated,
rubber material protects birds from live wires. Birds are
electrocuted when they touch more than one wire at the same
time. All new pole configurations are designed with bird
safety in mind, and transformers and their components are
insulated to prevent bird electrocutions.
Dangling wire and sticks from bird nests can result in
bird electrocutions and power outages. A recent effort addressed
this problem on a transmission line between Placitas and
Clovis. The line contained about 835 bird nests. Altogether
657 abandoned nests were removed; and the other 187 active
nests were avoided. Dangling materials from active nests
were trimmed, protecting nesting birds and improving the
reliability of electricity transmission on the line.
Habitat creation and research
PNM works closely with Hawks Aloft Inc., a non-profit organization
that works to conserve indigenous wild birds and their habitats
through research and public education.
PNM has contributed
to two Hawks Aloft programs in the Albuquerque area that
engage schoolchildren in the study of birds of prey and
For several years, burrowing owls found refuge on the property of PNM's Reeves Generating Station in Albuquerque. Their nesting was facilitated by man-made burrows installed in 2002 by PNM and volunteers.
As of fall 2010, the owls have migrated and are no longer nesting or living on the Reeves property. The web cam PNM installed to record their behavior is no longer operating.
Burrowing Owl FAQs
The burrowing owl is endangered in some
states and parts of Canada and is "a species of concern"
in others, including New Mexico.
Six schools in the Albuquerque area have installed student-made
nesting boxes for the American Kestrel in hopes of drawing
mating pairs to their school grounds for breeding season.
monitor the boxes to see how many chicks hatch and record
survival rates. A camera in active nests provides photographs
in five-minute intervals. The project will run for three to five years.
PNM supports and funds the project run by Hawks Aloft with
help from B & D Industries.
The American Kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America
and is seen widely throughout the continent at elevations
up to 12,200 feet. Kestrels are on the New
Mexico Partner in Flight "high-priority" list.
Classroom education partnerships
PNM has provided funding for HawkWatch's classroom environmental
education programs for children in the Albuquerque area.
HawkWatch's mission is to protect raptors, which are birds
of prey, and the environment through research, education
Programs feature live raptors that serve as exceptional
teaching tools for helping people of all ages to understand
basic ecological concepts. The program's birds are unable
to be released into the wild because they have been injured
or have developed a dependence on people, but they serve
as ambassadors of their species.