Thursday, January 16, 2014

Researchers analyze Swarm: why migrating birds fly in V formation - ABC Online

birds who move in formations across the sky, are an impressive sight. But much more exciting than the aesthetics is the aerodynamics of formation flights. The energy saving methods of the birds are more sophisticated than previously thought.

V formation save migratory birds even more perfect energy than previously thought. The result was the analysis of the flight of 14 bald ibis, report biologists led by Steven Portugal from the University of London in the journal “Nature”. The camera images revealed that coordinate the birds in V formation much finer one another than previously thought.

also took advantage of updrafts and downdrafts and thus saved forces. The animals put a remarkable ability of the day to exercise vortex zones or even predict, the researchers report. So far, biologists have only theoretically calculated that the offset fly brings aerodynamic advantages in V-shape.

waldrapps (Geronticus eremita) are large birds geese from the family of ibises. The researchers had filmed 14 of them for 43 minutes in flight. The animals have often changed their position and changed the timing of their wing beat to obtain the most aerodynamic advantage, the scientists report in “Nature”. They synchronized in V formation their wing beat with its predecessor, to take full advantage updrafts.

Flew the waldrapps exactly behind each other, their flapping wings was opposite. “This could reduce the adverse effects of halyard winches for the subsequent bird,” the researchers conclude. “We suspect that birds in V formation have synchronization strategies to come up with the dynamic vortex zones clearly caused by the flapping wings of others.” During the journey they put a remarkable ability of the day, seize this vortex or even predict .

kjo / dpa

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