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Posted by on Feb 14, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

How Do Birds Fly?

How Do Birds Fly?

Most birds are well suited for flying. First of all, a bird has feathers and wings, and powerful muscles in its breast with which to flap them. A bird’s body is streamlined to offer little air resistance.

Its bones are light in weight. Many of them are hollow and filled with air. When a bird beats its wings downward, it produces a lifting force that holds the bird in the air.

As the wings flap downward in flight, the long wingtip feathers twist and push against the air, moving the bird forward. The bird uses its tail feathers as a brake and as a rudder for steering.

In order to elevate themselves, birds require great vigor and strength that usually stems from a range of metabolism functions. Besides, bones having negligible weight along with flight feathers help them to maneuver while birds in flight and provide sufficient power to haul them up when needed.

In the upper body, there is a special bone called as ‘wishbone’ that is primarily responsible for yielding the appropriate vigor in addition to the backing needed for fluttering in the air. The propulsion and the required elevation are generated by the fluttering of wings in the air.

Afterwards, when it comes to guiding to a specific location, again these wings comes into play along with a tail to define the precise course.

Depending upon the upstroke or the down stroke movement of birds, they are capable to adjust the figure of their wings known as ‘airfoil’ accordingly. As they flutter their wings in the air, they are able to tone the driving force down and at the same time, produce an elevation required for raising them up.

Nature has configured the wings of birds in such a subtle fashion that as they slither through the air, these birds changes the direction of wings with the intention of preventing the air current to penetrate these wings.

Besides, in doing so, the current of air happens to go through the upper portion of wings more speedily than beneath the wings. This disparity of air currents in the upper and lower segments of wings allows the birds to have a required driving force that should neutralize the gravity and uplift them to elevate.

It’s not that easy to slither and maneuver wings while birds are in flight because it needs a lot of strength and that usually comes from rapid fluttering of wings. However, the plumage of birds is designed biologically to provide elevation and also the strong muscles help them to steer in the wild winds.

Content for this question contributed by Steve Proskowetz, resident of Austin, Texas, USA