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Birds Take Down Power lines.


Subdeacon Joe
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Ain't no new thing. Back when we still had passenger pigeons, flocks of them would land in the trees to RON, and there would be so many birds that their weight would break the branches out of the trees.

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Never seen a bird break a powerline but I saw a squirrel take out the power for a neighborhood once.

 

Back when I was a kid, I was waiting for the school bus one day and I noticed a squirrel running along the top of the power line.  When he got to the corner, there was a BOOM! and bright white flash.  When I turned my head to look, I noticed a few tufts of squirrel hair floating down to the ground.  I walked back up to the house to check and, yes, the squirrel had knocked out the power for the road.

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I had a bird or squirrel chew through my cable line before but never take out a power line.

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1 minute ago, Ozark Huckleberry said:

Some flash-fried squab. 

If it's like what happened to the squirrel, then it's more vaporized than flash-fried.

 

There wasn't enough left to fill the palm of your hand- and that was just hair.

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Many years ago, I was working south of the Waco area. 

One circuit kept going out, and blowing the line fuse. This happened several times a week, and since there were no trees near the line, we were having a time trying to figure out why the circuit kept blowing the line fuse. 

We would go out there, and everything would look fine...except there were dozens of dead birds on the ground at a certain location, under the circuit.

We re-fused the circuit, and settled in to see what would happen.

A while later, a flock of birds landed in the middle of the span, on the top wire/conductor. Since the energized wire was not grounded, the birds, perching on the conductor, were perfectly safe from being electrocuted. The span was about 500 feet long, between poles.

 

The birds would land on the top wire, which is the energized wire, or primary phase. That primary phase carried 7,200 volts. At some point, the number of birds, that landed on the primary phase, caused the line to start sagging. The weight of the birds, plus the long span, caused the primary phase to sag down low enough that it came in contact with the lower wire, which is the grounded neutral. When the primary phase touched the neutral, there was a phase to ground short, and it killed the birds. With the birds falling off of the primary phase, the wire snapped back up into it's original position, where it belonged. When the primary phase touched the neutral, it also blew the line fuse, located a few miles away. The only evidence of any of this was the pile of dead birds on the ground, under the conductors. 

We solved the problem, finally, and later installed an in-line pole to shorted the span to 250 feet between poles, and then pulled out some of the slack in the primary phase, so this would not happen again. 

Sherlock Holmes would have been proud of us.

 

 

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Its time for the local electric company issue some Firecrackers or Fireworks to local residence.

 

Keep those birds moving and they'll eventually move out of the area.

 

..........Widder

 

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We had an endangered species of woodpecker, that kept drilling holes in the wooden cross-arms. The cross-arms would last about a year, or so, then would need to be replaced. That bird species was protected, so they could not be shot, but we were spending crew time, and money, replacing the cross-arms. We finally started replacing the wooden cross-arms with fiberglass arms. That helped that problem, a great deal...although they still drilled holes in the wooden poles. We solved that by installing concrete poles, which are much more expensive than wooden poles. The government doesn't care...it's only money.  

 

Another problem we had with birds, was at a particular location, buzzards would land on the conductors, and while sitting there, would poop. It just so happened the rancher had a large concrete water tank, located right under where the buzzards did their business. The water tank, used to water his cows, was a mess. The rancher complained to us. That he put in the tank years after we were already there, did not seem to matter to him. We either had to spend thousands of dollars to relocate that section of conductor, from over the water tank, or figure something else out. We finally put up some of the large orange balls, on the conductor, that you may see around airports, that make the conductor very visible to the aircraft. We butted the balls up against each other, so none of the conductor was visible. The buzzards were not able to sit on the large balls, so they had to relocate to another section of the conductor, to relieve themselves.

I went to college for five years, after I got out of the military, to get my degree, and I never figured I would be saddled with solving a problem of buzzards pooping in a cattle water tank. I should have gone to a trade school. :wacko:

 

  

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