The Simple Reason Why Birds On A Power Line Usually Face The Same Direction

Have you ever noticed that birds sitting on a power line face the same direction? I mean, they usually look just like the picture above, don’t they? But why?

Well, it’s actually for the same reason why pilots prefer head wind when landing.

Let me explain. (the article continues after the ad)


Because of the way birds are built – light in the back and heavy in the front – they experience less wind resistance when they fly into the wind. The same goes for when they sit on power lines: they are all facing into the wind in order to reduce wind resistance.

Moreover, bird’s feathers are optimized for this direction of airflow. If they were instead facing the opposite direction, their feathers would be fluttering all over the place. That’s also the reason why seagulls in a group at the beach on a windy day face into the wind.

When the wind shifts direction, the birds will move with the wind so that they’re still heading into the wind and therefore, still all face the same direction on the power line. (the article continues after the ad)


As you might have guessed, since the bird’s facing direction is based on the wind, when it’s not windy, most bird species will face at randomly selected directions. Just like the picture below: (the article continues after the ad)

Photo: Soroush Javadi / Flickr

And now you know! 

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: Why Do Geese Fly In A V Formation? 

Copyright © I’m A Useless Info Junkie. Expand for sources and details.

Main Article Photo:  Andy Beecroft / Birds on Far Bank’s Power Line / CC BY-SA 2.0
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: Ever Wonder Why?: Here Are the Answers! | Birds of a feather face the weather | Wild Birds Unlimited

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