Birds love to sit on power lines, don't they?! Not only do they get a great view of their next meal or keep a lookout for predators, their songs can easily be heard by other birds from their high perch.
We know that we should never touch power lines since they carry electricity, but why don't birds get electrocuted when they land on these wires?
Electricity must have a path in order to travel. A power line is an ideal path, so when electricity is running through this wiring, an animal sitting on top of it does not interrupt the electrical flow.
After all, the bird's body provides resistance to electricity, so it's much easier for the electricity to stay on its power line path. However, if an animal were to have one foot on one wire and the other foot on another wire, electricity would travel from wire to wire through the bird's body, and the bird would be electrocuted. While many birds are too small to straddle two wires, unfortunately there are times when larger birds are electrocuted in this very way. For those that keep to one power line, they sure do enjoy their high perching place! In fact, some get so comfortable up there, they may even build nests on the tops of power poles!
by Mya Kagan (Whyzz writer)
Because electrical wires are dangerous, it is important that we never touch them. In fact, to protect themselves from getting shocked, utility workers have to use special protective gear and insulated tools when they work on power lines. If you see a power line that has fallen, tell an adult who can call and report it, but never go near the electrical wire or attempt to touch it with another object.