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Seemingly strange lights dangle from electricity lines in Anaheim

Q. Dear Honk: I have a mystery for you to solve. On Tustin Avenue in Anaheim, just south of Miraloma Avenue, there are some lines strung above the street that have tiny lights about six feet apart on them. The lights are only lit at night and appear to be LED, as they are very bright. They do not blink. The lights are also strung elsewhere on Tustin Avenue for about 50 feet or so. They first appeared about a year and a half or two years ago. I can’t imagine what their purpose is. Can you, in your infinite road wisdom, find out what they are for?

– Mary Sampson, Placentia

A. Yes, with the help of Mike Lyster, the spokesman for the city, who kindly rolled out there to take a look himself.

He learned that what you see are called “bird diverters,” put up by the city.

Frankly, Lyster is a rather articulate man, so Honk is just going to step out of the way and let him explain:

“These are devices that attach to electricity lines to create a visual and motion deterrence for birds,” he told Honk in an email. “In Anaheim’s case, we use bright-colored wheels that move and spin in the wind for both high visibility and motion to warn birds of electricity lines.

“Sadly, birds can fly into lines and be electrocuted while also causing area power outages,” Lyster said. “We have diverters in this location because of its proximity to the Santa Ana River and its basins, which serve as habitat for larger birds including geese, ducks, terns and others.

“They do not have lights, but they do have reflectors, which can give the impression of a light,” he added. “In addition to reflectors, they have luminescent material that retains and continues to emit light well into the night.”

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