Birds on power lines, another look

Some time ago, we asked the question: “Why Do You Never See Birds on High-Tension Power Lines?”

Just today, this very afternoon, I saw something that seemed to put the lie to my question (Figure 1).

Figure 1 A flock of birds on a power line.

The original thesis was that high tension power line temperatures rise so high that they can burn birds’ feet, but this picture adds something to that.

This power line doesn’t run cross country. It only passes along our commuter railroad right-of-way and might be better thought of as a moderate-tension line with a lesser temperature rise than previously described.

With the weather temperature at 36°F, this flock of birds was feeling the chill and was therefore taking advantage of a relatively modest power line temperature rise to warm their feet.

Nature can be just full of surprises.

John Dunn is an electronics consultant, and a graduate of The Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn (BSEE) and of New York University (MSEE).

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