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Why Can Birds Sit on High-Voltage Power Lines but Trees Shouldn't Touch Them?

Electricity will stay in power lines unless something or someone gives it a path to the ground. Birds can sit on high-voltage power lines because they are not touching the ground or anything in contact with the ground. So electricity stays in the lines and does not go through them.

Trees are in direct contact with the ground. So if a tree branch contacts a high-voltage power line, electricity will leave the line and go through the tree. Trees that are in contact with secondary power lines and service drops pose a much smaller shock hazard.



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