WHy Can Birds Sit On Powerlines?

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  • #26
Gokul43201
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Voltage does not go through things. It is the current that goes through things. I did a calculation for the current flowing through the bird in post #10.

The voltage drop between the bird's feet can also be estimated from the data in jeff's post #9. Assume the power line is at roughly 100kV. Jeff says that typical drops are smaller than 5%, that's < 5kV over several tens of miles. If the distance between the bird's feet is as large as 4 inches, this makes the voltage drop between the feet be of the order of millivolts.
 
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  • #27
Mk
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I asked this question earlier today. These are the three responses I got back:

There is no voltage, i.e. potential difference, between the bird's legs; thus, no current passes through it. If it would touch another powerline or the ground at the same time, bad things would happen.
Because powerlines are normally insulated
Power-lines are bare, but anyone can sit on one as long as they don't complete an electrical circuit with another power-line or with a supporting pylon or earth. Passerines like to sit on power-lines because it is their nature to perch.
 
  • #28
russ_watters
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The second one is wrong, the other two are fine.
 
  • #29
rbj
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russ_watters said:
The second one is wrong...

[itex] \mathrm{no} \ \mathrm{s}\mathrm{hit!} [/itex] acting on an assumption like that might earn you a Darwin Award.
 

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