Feathers are the most unique aspect of a bird’s anatomy. The feathers of a bird are made up of keratin, which is the same substance that hair, hooves and beaks are made of. The shaft, or center spine, of the feather is stiff and the tip is flexible for flight. The barbs of the feather [...]
Hummingbirds are a bird species well known for their amazing aerobatic skills. You may see a hummingbird hovering at a flower having a drink of nectar. Its wings are a misty blur either side of it. In an instant, it might dart forward, sideways, backwards or even upside down, wings beating furiously at 50 to 80, or even more, beats per second. The number of beats per second varies according to the size and species of the bird. It has been reported that a hummingbird can travel at speeds of 30 to 60 miles per hour (50 to 100 km/h) and then abruptly stop and hover in one position. How do they accomplish these amazing aerobatic feats?
Although airplane wings may be somewhat modeled after the wings of birds, the mechanics of bird flight are far more complex. A number of forces act on the flexible wings of a bird and are very different from those on the fixed wings of an airplane. Birds are highly specialized creatures and adapted for flight. They dominate the skies and occupy a unique niche in the environment.