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How Do Birds Avoid Electrocution?

Electricity can either flow through the wire, or up one leg, through the bird and down the other leg. As the bird is a much worse conductor than the wire, almost all of the electrical current flows through the wire.

bird

Birds normally only sit on a single wire, so they act like a resistor in parallel with the wire.

However, birds do experience a brief static shock when they land on a wire, because their body acts like a capacitor that gets charged up. But a bird is a very weak capacitor and the shock amounts to less than half a milliamp.

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