A pheasant flying into a power cable knocked out power to 18,000 Hampshire homes.
The outage left Christmas shoppers in Winchester out in the cold as shops lost supplies after the incident.
Southern and Scottish Electricity Network workmen took an hour to restore power yesterday afternoon.
A company spokeswoman said: ‘It would appear a pheasant flew into a high voltage cable, causing the power cut.
She confirmed that around 18,000 homes across Winchester had been affected.