Why Do Pigeons Not Get Electrocuted?

It is common to see one or more pigeons sitting on power lines, and they do not get electrocuted. Birds like to sit on these electric wires in the evening, and they consider themselves safe.

Why Do Pigeons Not Get Electrocuted? Pigeons do not get electrocuted because their bodies do not conduct electricity. Moreover, current passes in a body that forms a complete circuit, and birds sit on a single wire having a flow of charges in a single direction. Furthermore, they cannot store charge due to their small size, so there is less risk of being electrocuted. 

Pigeons are known for their extraordinary capabilities like acrobatics nature, adaptability, and intelligence, and they have no risk of getting a severe shock after sitting on the power lines.

Do pigeons die from power lines?

Pigeons do not die from sitting on power lines; that’s why you see them enjoying a bird’s eye view of their surroundings from a good height and locating their prey on the ground.

It is astonishing for some people to observe them sitting safely, as humans are at risk of electrocuting when they try to touch the wires bare-handed.

Moreover, the current passes through the human body resulting in a shock leading to death sometimes.

However, they can die due to collision with cables when moving at high speed as these lines restrict their bodies from moving forward.

It can create confusion among people that they have got a shock or get electrocuted due to flowing current, but it happens if they hit their bodies to wires.

Why do pigeons not get electrocuted when sitting on power lines?

Electrocution is an injury due to shock caused by touching the electric wires that can lead to death sometimes.

Pigeons are safe from being electrocuted when sitting on power lines due to many reasons like their poor conductivity and the presence of feet on cables.

Less capacity to store charge

They are smaller birds with light bodies that can easily handle the narrow wires in the streets.

It is risky to touch the power cables for humans as they can get a severe shock. However, the smaller birds have no risk of electrocuting because they cannot store electric charge.

Furthermore, larger bodies like humans have more capacity to hold a charge and pass it on to the next medium, which is a good conductor of electricity like a steel or metal substance.

Poor conductors of electricity

A pigeon sitting comfortably on the electric wires and not getting a shock indicates that they do not conduct electricity.

Moreover, they are poor conductors as they sit with their feet directly on the cables, that do not disrupt the flow of charges.

The current flow bypasses the presence of lightweight birds and moves straight towards a low voltage. As a result, the charges do not pass from their bodies and maintain their path.

Moreover, the wires are covered with rubber material that helps protect birds from direct contact with the charges. They are made of numerous cells and tissues that do not attract current toward them.

No direct contact with the ground

Almost every living thing in direct contact with the ground and power cables is probably shocked because the circuit is complete.

Many people get severe shock when standing on the ground and trying to touch the electrical wires.

Moreover, the ground attracts charge towards it due to its lower potential, and humans become a bridge between the two.

Accordingly, the current tries to move towards the low potential by passing through their bodies and trying to reach the ground resulting in electrocution.

This way, they are at risk of shock, while pigeons are safe because they have no contact with the ground and have both feet on the power cable.

However, these can even get current when touching a metal object connected to the ground as it helps make a complete path to reach the ground.

No difference in voltage 

It is safe for pigeons to sit on power lines as they would not get electrocuted because there is no voltage difference between them.

Moreover, a single wire has no difference in voltage as it moves the current in a single direction from a low voltage or takes it to the high voltage side.

Any difference in voltage or potential can be deadly for these birds, allowing electrons to flow through them.

Naturally, energy moves from high to low voltage. It gets disturbed when a medium connects the flow of charges from low potential to the one moving towards high potential.

When do pigeons get a shock from power lines?

A pigeon can get electrocuted when it completes the circuit and becomes a medium between the two opposite power lines.

When it tries to touch two opposite power cables with both feet, it can get a severe shock leading to serious injury.

The electrical charges from low potential begin to flow through their bodies to reach the wires of higher potential.

Many efforts have been made by the organizations concerned for the protection of avian species as they have to conserve these birds.

They have increased the distance between opposite wires to reduce the possibility of touching another foot on a second power cable.

Increased spacing, protection of power lines, and covering of distribution poles to avoid direct contact with the ground have reduced the possibility of electrocuting in birds.

Why do pigeons sit on power lines?

Many people are astonished to see the birds sitting on the wires and wonder what attracts them to wire.

They probably perch on power lines to get warmth from slightly warm lines that help conserve body temperature. It helps reduce the risk of freezing to death and is a good spot for resting.

In addition, they prefer to sit at a good height to get a better view of the surroundings and locate their prey. They can easily see insects, beetles, and crickets and quickly fly down to eat them.

It can help protect them from the predators moving on the ground, like cats, snakes, and squirrels, as they cannot reach them on power cables.

Furthermore, they reach power lines when they are tired of flying and want to take some rest and interact with other friends sitting there.

It gives a sense of safety when surrounded by other birds sharing the same wire because they can help get rid of predator attacks.

Some people also consider that they can prepare themselves for migration to a new location as it can be a meetup spot for the avians.

It is confirmed by looking at a huge number of birds, including pigeons, on power lines at the end of summer when they plan to accommodate warm regions.

Related Articles:

Why are there so many pigeons in cities?