As you drive about the countryside, you can see hundreds of birds sitting on strength lines or call wires. Have you ever wondered why birds sit on power lines? Well, if you have, review on for some answers.

You are watching: Why do birds sit on power lines

Primarily, birds will sit on power lines due to the fact that it gives them one uninterrupted view of the human being below. If they’re foraging because that food, the the ideal vantage suggest because their view is no obscured by tree branches or foliage. Additionally, sit on a power line likewise gives the birds an extra benefit of warm as strength lines space usually a little warmer than the bordering air, specifically when the weather is cold.

Let’s have a look in ~ the benefits the birds derive from sit on strength lines.


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They gain A small Extra Warmth

As the temperature drops, birds choose to conserve their body temperature by sitting together, quite regularly for lengthy periods of time. Because power lines are slightly warmer, these make suitable perching ar for birds to just sit and conserve your energy.

Power lines space slightly warmer than the surrounding air since of the power that flows v them. When birds perch on the strength lines, they’ll instantly feel the warmth under their feet.

That’s exactly why you’ll often see a lot of birds perching on power lines later on in the day as soon as the temperature starts to drop.

They Are protected From Predators

Sitting high increase on the strength lines way that bird are safeguarded from floor predators such as cats and also foxes. You’ll often find birds sit on power lines in cities whereby there room not plenty of trees around.

These strength lines allow birds to acquire up high off the ground and also out of with of plenty of of their predators.

Power Lines give Birds A great Vantage allude When trying to find Food

Sitting high up on a strength line gives the birds an uninterrupted see of the human being below. Castle can conveniently use their an extremely keen eyesight come spot any kind of viable food sources as they sit and also look around.

From their view high increase on the strength lines, they can spot insects below too as source any fruit or nut bearing trees that could be the interest.

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It’s A an excellent Meeting and also Resting Place prior to Migration

It’s interesting to keep in mind that part migratory birds will certainly gather in large flocks on strength lines before they start their migratory journey. This is why you’ll view a the majority of birds on strength lines throughout the so late summer and also early fall.

It’s thought that they space gathering in numbers prior to they begin their long migratory journey.


Interesting Fact
During the breeding season you may not see as many birds perching with each other on strength lines. This is because they don’t desire to sit next to their rivals when looking for a mate. ~ above the other hand, the quite typical to check out male songbirds sit on a power line and singing joyfully. This is since they have the right to be easily seen and also heard by your potential mates.

How can Birds Sit On strength Lines and Not obtain Electrocuted?

While she contemplating the factor of why bird sit on power lines, girlfriend might likewise be asking why lock don’t acquire electrocuted. Come answer this, we require to understand the flow of electricity.

Electricity needs conductors to flow through and also ultimately, it is constantly looking for the fastest and easiest route to the ground. This create a close up door circuit together the electrical power is an initial pulled native the ground at the strength station. It climate flows with the power lines and into her home’s appliances. Eventually, the electrical energy will move back into the ground.

Therefore, the electrical energy is constantly looking because that the the very least resistant path back into the ground. This is why power conductors are earthed.

Birds that perch on power lines are not earthed. Plus, their bodies space not an excellent conductors of power either. A bird perches on a power line v its two feet. Since the electrical energy is not urged to pass v the bird’s body, it choose the course of least resistance and continues to flow through the wire. This is precisely why power lines are spaced far apart.

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Large birds Are an ext Susceptible come Electrocution Than smaller Ones

If a bird happened to have actually one foot top top one power line and also one foot on another line, this would open up the route for the electrical power to flow an ext easily v the bird and it would then it is in electrocuted.

Similarly, if a bird was to touch a strength line and likewise the power pole, the bird would certainly be electrocuted due to the fact that it has formed a connection with the power line and also the floor below.

That’s why huge birds favor eagles, hawks and also owls are an ext susceptible come electrocution once they perch on strength lines than smaller sized songbirds. Due to the fact that of their broad wingspan, a raptor is an ext likely come touch 2 wires together it’s landing or acquisition off.

It’s also much more likely for among their wing to brush the power pole together they’re landing ~ above a power line. There have been numerous instances the raptors gift electrocuted the end in the deserts in the US. This is because, sometimes, the power lines space the just high up locations for the bird to perch.

Why space Birds sitting On power Lines All facing The exact same Direction?

There’s straightforward explanation to this phenomena together well. Basically, it’s because that wind resistance. To know this, you have to consider the way that birds space built. Generally, lock are heavy in the front and much lighter in the back.

This means that a bird will endure much less wind resistance once they carry out fly into the wind. So, as soon as they sit on power lines, castle most likely all dealing with into the wind. This means that your feathers are able come fluff up roughly their bodies and also not flutter wildly in the wind.

What Happens as soon as The Wind Is not Blowing?

When the wind has passed away down again, you’ll most likely uncover that the bird are currently perched randomly and also could be encountering in various directions. Go and have a look because that yourself. You’ll notification all the birds facing the very same direction once the wind is blowing but facing in different directions as soon as it’s a tho day.

Birds Are very Considerate

Another interesting phenomena to watch is how considerate birds are as soon as they’re perching on power lines. If a new bird come along and also is trying to find a spot to perch, the other birds will move along to make room for the newcomer.

You see, bird who prefer to perch are normally quite sociable and considerate of other birds. Therefore, they’ll happily relocate along the cable to permit a newcomers a perching position.

You’ll also find that birds are normally evenly spaced along the power lines. It’s thought that the reason for this is permit enough room to do take turn off from the wire nice and easy.

On the other hand, if the weather is an extremely cold, you might find a group of birds huddled near together. This method that they space using each other for warmth, similar to you find your dog cuddling increase close to you ~ above a cold winter’s night.

Which Bird varieties Are you Most likely To see On power Lines?

Of course, this depends entirely on where you live or where the strength lines room located however here’s a list of the most common birds that favor to perch on power lines.

American KestrelRock PigeonEuropean StarlingEastern BluebirdAmerican RobinSwallowsMourning DoveHouse FinchRed-winged Blackbird

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Frequently request Questions:

Are power lines heat for birds?

Yes, power lines have the right to keep bird warm.

How execute you keep birds off strength lines?

It’s possible to download a visual or sound repellent device on peak of strength poles to scare the bird away.

What noise will scare bird away?

It’s possible to get ultrasonic tools that emit a static sound that will annoy birds and keep them away.

Final Thoughts

You now have a identify answer regarding why bird sit on power lines. It’s partly for warmth, partially for safety and partly to forage for food. Having actually such a high vantage point permits the bird to easily observe the ground listed below for possible food resources while being protected from predators such as cats and foxes.

You’ve likewise learned why birds greatly don’t get electrocuted while they perch ~ above a strength line. Uneven of course, lock touch 2 wires all at once or accidentally touch the strength pole if they’re perched on the wire.

And, to optimal it off, you likewise now know why sometimes, all the birds are dealing with the exact same direction and also at other times, castle not. It has actually something to do with whether or no the wind is blowing.

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Plus, i bet friend didn’t recognize that bird are quite sociable and also really considerate. They’ll happily relocate along to do some room when a freshman arrives for a perch.