How do birds fly?
Some facts about birds and flightHow do birds fly is an ancient question even pondered in ancient Greek mythology when poor Icarus with his wings of wax flew too close to the sun. Birds and their means of flight, feathers, have been a source of mystery and wonder down through the ages, and peacock feathers for example, are ironically considered valuable symbols of good luck and well being even though these dramatically beautiful birds never mastered the art of how do birds fly.
The answer to the question, how do birds fly is complex, as birds are capable of flight due to several diverse and highly specialized adaptations. The next time you notice birds congregating around a bird feeder, watch them closely. Their bones are hollow and light, but strong, and their high metabolisms supply their bodies with energy. One of the most important biological aspects of how do birds fly concerns a bone called the furcula, also known as the “wishbone,” which is located in the chest. This bone is what makes it possible for birds to produce the strength and skeletal support necessary to flap their wings.
How do feathers and wings aid in the bird’s ability to fly?
Light feathers catch the air, making the mechanics of flight not at all unlike that of an airplane. Controlled flight is a phenomenon that occurs with the interaction of several factors; lift, weight, thrust and drag. By flapping their wings, birds create thrust and lift, and they are able to steer by alternating the shape and orientation of their wings and tail.
If a bird is gliding through the air, the wings push air down and the air pushes them up. Partly, the push comes from the angle at which the wings are held and partly from their curvature. The air travels faster above the bird’s wing than it does below, and this lowers the pressure above the wing.
Birds are unique creatures in the animal kingdom because of their beaks, feathers, and other anatomical features, all of which make it possible for them to fly. The shape of a bird's wings insures that the right amount of air runs both above and below them to not just help them get up in the air, but also to stay there. An animal must be lightweight or it will require too much energy to push off the ground and get into the air. (Hippos sure can’t do it.) Feathers help them to catch the air that keeps them in flight!
Human fascination with birds dates back to the dawning of civilization. People have always marveled at these incredible creatures and wondered how do birds fly. It was only after carefully studying the flight and locomotion of birds that early 20th century inventors like the Wright Brothers were able to construct machines that would fly through the air.
It’s pretty clear that birds do a better job of flying than most sober people do, but then birds are not exactly the thinkers that human are, are they?