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Avian Flight Center
Avian Flight (Oxford Ornithology)
Bird flight has always intrigued mankind. This book provides an up to date account of our existing knowledge on the subject, as well as offering new insights and challenging some established views.
A brief history of the science of flight introduces the basic physical principles governing aerial locomotion. A treatment of flight-related functional morphology concentrates on the difference in shape of the arm and hand part of the wings, on the structure and function of tails, and on the shape of the body. The anatomy and mechanical properties of feathers receive special attention. Aerodynamic principles used by birds are explained in theory by simply applying Newton's laws, and in practice by showing the direction and velocity of the attached flow around an arm wing cross section and of the leading edge vortex flow above a hand wing. The Archaeopteryx fossils remain crucial in our understanding of the evolution of bird flight despite the recent discovery of a range of well-preserved ancient birds.
A novel insight into the interactions between wings and air challenges established theories relating to the origin of bird flight. Take-off, flapping flight, gliding and landing are the basic ingredients of bird flight, and birds use a variety of flight styles from hovering to soaring. Flight muscles consisting of mosaics of specialized fibers are the engines that generate the force required to keep the wings and tail in the gliding configuration and perform work during flapping motion. The energy required to fly can be estimated or measured directly, and a comparison of empirical results provides insights into the trend in metabolic costs of flight of birds varying in shape and mass from hummingbirds to albatrosses.
I'll Take that to Go!
A Red Kite eating a meal mid-air. This shot was captured at the Gauntlet Bird of Prey Center in Knutsford Cheshire.
The Red Kite (Milvus milvus) is currently endemic to the Western Palearctic region in Europe and northwest Africa, though formerly also occurred just outside in northern Iran. It is a rare species which is resident in the milder parts of its range in western Europe and northwest Africa, but birds from northeastern and central Europe winter further south and west, reaching south to Turkey. Vagrants have reached north to Finland and south to Israel and Libya.
The Red Kite's diet consists mainly of small mammals such as mice, voles, shrews, young hares and rabbits. It also feeds on a wide variety of carrion including sheep carcasses and dead game birds. Live birds are also taken and occasionally reptiles and amphibians. Earthworms also form an important part of the diet, especially in the spring.
This is probably my favorite image from the trip...these little guys crack me up. I wish I knew what they were thinking :)
Now it's time to get to work....flight centre here I come! Need to get my summer flights booked today!
avian flight center
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