Pets Q&A: Why are birds perching on power lines above highway? | Lifestyle

Pets Q&A: Why are birds perching on power lines above highway? | Lifestyle

Pricey JOAN — We on a regular basis see a line of birds perched on the exact wire no make any difference when we push by. There is a set of two wires, and they are usually on the same a person.

This is on Freeway 85, in the San Jose, California, location. We detect it likely southbound, correct in advance of you get to the Winchester Boulevard exit and south of Saratoga Avenue.

You see this in other locations, maybe, but it really is puzzling around a busy freeway.

Any concept what this could be about?

Bonna Kauffman, Los Gatos

Dear BONNA: I are unable to talk for these birds in particular — probably they are all checking their Twitter accounts — but in typical, birds have a detail for energy traces.

Most of the birds you see perched on wires are passerines, which make up about 50 percent of all the birds in the entire world. They are built for perching, with one toe at the again of their foot and 3 in the front, letting them to tightly grip a perch.

Initially, that was to maintain onto tree branches, but as people created and established infrastructure, birds have consider advantage of our unintentional generosity. Birds, of study course, however perch in trees, but the overhead traces present some positive aspects for them.

In the winter season, the traces can be a toasty place to perch. We are not speaking steam warmth in this article, but the lines are generally a couple of levels hotter than other locations, so that helps make a pleasant area to sit.

The traces also provide a superior put to gaze out on the openness in look for of meals. We frequently feel this characteristic is extra widespread in raptors, who location prey from higher than, then swoop in, but other birds like acquiring a large vantage place to scan the ground beneath for likely foodstuff places — trees in bloom, vegetation likely to seed, a swarm of insects and even a backyard feeder or two.

The traces also are a good place to relaxation, protected from dangers closer to the floor. Additionally, the strains can serve as a accumulating place to fulfill mates and family, and speak about gatherings of the day. Migrating birds frequently will rendezvous on electricity lines, collecting quantities ahead of heading off on their extended journeys. Migrating in flocks tends to make traveling much easier as they draft off one one more, and the group offers a evaluate of basic safety.

In specially windy circumstances, you can expect to discover all the birds are experiencing the same direction: into the wind. That keeps their feathers from finding blown out of area. On windless days, the birds will sit any way they like.

During mating year, there would not be as lots of birds on the wires as typical. That is because when males are looking for a mate, they will not want to sit future to their competitors. (Who could blame them?) Nonetheless, a couple males do acquire to the wires to sing their appreciate music and make positive the females get a great appear at them.

As to why these distinct birds like the traces more than a busy freeway, I can not say for sure, although it is really likely a practical place and the noise of the visitors naturally isn’t going to hassle them. Disorders on that a person wire, as opposed to the other, apparently are far more eye-catching, much too.

It can be most likely the birds stay in the location and use the wires as resting and traveling to locations, gathering there at moments in the course of the day and then heading household to their neighborhood roosts at dusk.


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