22 de febrero de 2021

Field Journal 2: ID and Flight Physiology

I went out with Allan's field trip group Saturday morning, leaving at around 9:05 am. It was sunny and partly cloudy, with a 5-10 mph NW wind and a temperature of 21 degrees Fahrenheit. When we returned at 10:38 am, the sky had become fully cloudy and the temperature had raised to 23 degrees. We walked through Athletic campus, Redstone, and down South Prospect St. This was a mostly urban/suburban area, with a few more wooded areas around Redstone. One particular area was the Redstone Woods, just across from the church. This is area is made up of mostly Eastern White Pines and we saw a few birds here. Going down S. Prospect St. there more scattered trees, mostly deciduous but also some pines and spruces.

At one point in this excursion, while in front of the Southwick music building on Redstone campus, a group of maybe three or four Ring-billed gulls flew over us, coming from the direction of the water. I know that gulls have high aspect ratio wings, which are good for endurance and gliding, which fits their lifestyle. If they're going to be living most of their lives over water, it's important to be able to glide and dive easily, although personally I can't think of a time when I've seen a gull actually diving for fish. Most of the time its just trash.

Compare this to American Crows, which have low aspect ratio wings that are better for breaking and maneuvering. Crows may often have to swoop down to grab prey and these wings would be best for that. I also noticed that when crows are flying, they don't seem to glide at all, they just flap their wings over and over again. My guess is that this style of flying is more going faster over shorter distances by using more energy and gliding less.

Anotado en febrero 22, lunes 23:02 por emma2forsythe emma2forsythe | 14 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario