Utility Post for Birds
March 5, 2010 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Posts in recent days have thoughtfully considered alternative energy sources, but the idly curious might wonder about other utility posts... you know, the ones alongside the road. Here's a diagram of what all those lines are for, plus a link to the unofficial utility pole page. "How can birds sit safely on power lines ?" you might ask. In fact, avian mortality has been a serious problem for quite some time. Solutions do exist, and efforts are underway to address the issue.
posted by woodway (10 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
When I was a little kid, I asked my dad why pigeons didn't get electrocuted when they sat on power lines. He told me it was because they wear tiny sneakers.

Thanks for this. It's an important subject, and a good post.
posted by rtha at 12:46 PM on March 5, 2010 [2 favorites]

In fairness, only the dumb birds who don't understand the concept of completing a circuit get killed.
posted by brain_drain at 12:56 PM on March 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

I see he doesn't have an answer for one of my long-standing questions, either:
Why are there a few instances in which a tiny part of an older pole remains hanging in the air and still holding wires?
Neat find on the site, though. Hyper-specific things like that are what makes the Internet great.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:29 PM on March 5, 2010

Kadin2048: Here you go, AskMeFi provides.
posted by hattifattener at 1:39 PM on March 5, 2010

No one is interested in this real-life electrical power stuff. We all want hear about windmills and solar panels. Wheee!
posted by Faze at 1:41 PM on March 5, 2010

When they replaced the pole in my backyard there was no ground wire installed. Nor was there a ground wire on the old pole. But I understand why this is. In case of a lightning strike, my house acts as the ground. The most recent example of this safety feature caused aluminum siding to explode off into the yard.

Brilliant design, wot?
posted by Splunge at 1:44 PM on March 5, 2010

posted by woodjockey at 4:53 PM on March 5, 2010

Holy shit, I must've retained something from Circuits, because that pole diagram made perfect sense.
posted by rubah at 6:03 PM on March 5, 2010

I always wondered what the metal things are you sometimes see hanging in the middle of the line between two poles. It looks like a little roof with edges that come to a point.
posted by brenton at 9:42 AM on March 6, 2010

I've wondered that too, brenton! They seem quite common in some areas around here and completely absent in others. I've been thinking I should take some photos of them and post an askme or something.
posted by hattifattener at 1:11 PM on March 6, 2010

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