## Why isn’t a bird sitting on a high-voltage power line electrocuted? Contrast this with the situation in which a large bird hits two wires si

Question

Why isn’t a bird sitting on a high-voltage power line electrocuted? Contrast this with the situation in which a large bird hits two wires simultaneously with its wings

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2 months 2021-09-02T20:29:23+00:00 2 Answers 1 views 0

A) The main reason why a bird sitting on a high voltage power line is not electrocuted is because for current to flow, there has to be a complete circuit with an electric potential in the path of least resistance and in this case the conditions for electric to flow are not met.

B) In contrast to A above, when the bird hits two wires simultaneously with it’s wings while sitting, it would get shocked and most likely die by electrocution.

Explanation:

A) The main reason why a bird sitting on a high voltage power line is not electrocuted is because for current to flow, there has to be a complete circuit with an electric potential in the path of least resistance. In this case, the circuit isn’t complete because the bird is not in contact with another wire which is needed to complete a circuit and thus has no electric potential because both of it’s legs are touching the same wire at same constant potential and also at this point, even though there is very little electric flow, it is negligible and not able to harm the birds due to strong resistance to electric flow because the wires are usually good conductors of electricity.

B) In contrast to A above, when the bird hits two wires simultaneously with it’s wings while sitting, it would get shocked and most likely die by electrocution if the wire is of different voltage from the one it sits because it’s body through it’s wings has now become a path for electricity to flow to another wire of different Voltage.

The reason the bird is not electrocuted is due to some facts about circuit:

1. Completeness of circuit- This circuit needs to be

complete in order for current to flow. The bird standing on only one wire has not completed the circuit.

2. A potential difference: Another factor deciding

the direction of flow of current is (electric)

potential. Current always flows from a higher

potential to a lower potential. In other words it

can be said that electrons flow from lower

potential to higher one. (the direction of electric

current is opposite to that of the electrons). So

we need the potential difference for current to

flow. The bird standing on only one wire has no potential difference.

3. Path of least Resistance- Factor that decides

the path a current will flow in case of parallel

paths is the (electric) resistance offered by the

path. Current will always flow in the path that

offers least resistance. The leg of a bird has high resistance.

Explanation:

It has no potential difference as both the legs of bird are touching the same wire at same constant potential. … If the bird would touch the ground while sitting on the wire or flap its wings and touch another electric wire with a different voltage, then it would get shocked and likely die by electrocution.

while in the other hand, the Bird that touches two wires with it wings at the same time will get electrocuted because it has completed a circuit and the its feathers created a potential difference .