It is really fascinating to watch birds flying in the air whether alone or in flocks. Itseems like they are carrying a care-free aura that could uplift your mood and makes you feeland wish that you we’re a bird flying freely in the sky. However, birds are not only fascinatingbecause of their ability to fly for they are also absolutely attention catcher especially as theyseemed to amazingly balance themselves in the wires of a power line as if they are justsitting and resting on a regular tree. If you are wondering how they do that, do not worrybecause you are not the only one. I never really actually sought for an answer to this inquiryand just brushed it off but since it is necessary for me to find an answer to this, I surf the netand this is the answer that I found.
As we all know, electricity flows by the movement of electrons through conductorsand the copper in electrical wires is a great conductor of electricity and allows electricity toflow easily along its surface as electricity flows along the path of least resistance. The birdsdon’t get shocked or electrocuted when they sit on electrical wires because they are notgood conductors of electricity. Their cells and tissues do not offer electrons an easier routethan the copper wire they’re already traveling along. As a result, the electricity bypasses thebirds and keeps flowing along the wire instead.Another reason why electricity will bypass a bird sitting on a wire is because there’sno voltage difference in a single wire. For electrons to move there must be what scientistscall a difference in electrical potential and the birds does not offer that. The electrons want toget to where they are going in the easiest possible way much like a person might walk on thesidewalk instead of the grass because it is easier.
For example, electricity flows from areasof high voltage to areas of low voltage. Electricity flowing through a single power line at35,000 volts will continue along the path of least resistance and bypass birds, becausethere’s no difference in electrical potential.When the bird sits on a wire and the electrons reach the part of the wire where thebird is sitting, the electrons have two options.
They could go through the bird’s feet andencounter a large amount of resistance or they could go through the metal. All metals areconductors which mean that electrons can flow through them easily. Because it is easier totravel through the metal instead, the electrons don’t go through the bird’s feet, so the birdstays safe. The same thing would happen if a person sat on a wire and the electrons wouldgo through the wire instead of through the person (Watt, 2015).
However, if the bird would touch the ground while sitting on the wire or flap its wingsor touch another electric wire with a different voltage it would be another story, the birdwould get shocked and is likely to die by electrocution. And the reason behind is its bodywould become a path for the electricity to reach either the ground (no voltage) or a placewith a different voltage (another wire at a different voltage, for example). This is also thereason why power lines tend to be high in the air with plenty of space between the wires.In summary, birds are not a good conductor and they don’t get electrocuted sitting ona single wire in a power line. However, if it touches two wires in a power line with differentvoltages, it will likely die due to electrocution.
Electrons also follow the easiest path possible.