Birds tend to flock in winter (non-breeding season) for safety and to forage for food. But what prompts the flocks to perch on utility wires? The answer is unclear, but it may be that the wires offer high vantage points and protection from ground predators.
Birds are able to avoid electrocution while perching on power lines if they only touch one live wire at a time. Touching two wires at a time allows electricity to flow through their bodies and electrocute them. Caution for people: Never touch a live wire or a power line.
IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer: The Quadrantid Meteor shower, which typically produces 50 meteors per hour, will be visible this weekend. Look to the northern sky throughout the night.
The moon will be new tonight. Brilliant-shining Venus rises in the east a few hours before sunrise. Mars is low in the southwest at dusk. Jupiter and Saturn are low in the east just before sunrise. Mercury is too close to the sun for easy observation.