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Name: Lisa
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Date: 1999


Question:
How can birds land on power lines and not get electrocuted?


Replies:
Good question. There are actually two lines in a power line: the high voltage line and the "ground" line. Electricity jumps from the power line to the "ground" line or directly to the ground when there is a path for it to do so. For example, when a kite lands on the high voltage line, a path to ground is made along the kite's string. This is why it is dangerous to fly kites near power lines.

However, when a bird lands on a power line, even if it is the high voltage line, it does not provide a path between the power line to ground. Therefore, the bird is not bothered by the high voltage.

-Grant



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