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Why do birds not get electrocuted when they sit on pylons?

I am a year 5 and 6 teacher in Daventry, and my class have a question that they would like to ask you: ‘why do birds not get electrocuted when they sit on pylons?’ Thank you.
Emma Pender from Northamptonshire (Age: 15-24)

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One Response

  1. Electrocution happens when too big a current flows through the body. In order to push the electrons that make up the curret through, you need a voltage. When a bird sits on a pylon, then both its feet are receiving the same voltage ‘push’ but in opposite directions, and no electrons go through. If, though, it has both feet on a pylon and touches the ground with its beak, there is no voltage at one end and a high voltage at the other: the electrons are pushed from its feet out of its break into the ground (we say the ‘voltage earths itself’) and the current flowing through the bird would electrocute it. Lovely.

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