Watching seagulls gliding effortlessly along the seashore or Canada geese flying in perfect formation or a hawk diving for its prey always leaves me in awe. Have you ever watched the flight of a bird and wished you could fly too? Wouldn’t that be amazing? Different types of birds fly in different ways and they don’t really need wind to fly, but many birds make use of the wind to help them glide and soar or even to take off (for larger birds).
Soaring birds take advantage of thermals and updrafts, and soaring birds that wish to stay aloft without flapping in normal wind usually fly into the wind for lift. But that same wind that holds them up slows their forward movements. In order to get somewhere, soaring birds make delicate adjustments to turn slightly now and then. Like soaring birds, flapping birds have their easiest time staying up when they’re facing the wind, but their easiest time moving forward when being pushed by the wind.
On our trip to Charleston, South Carolina a few years ago, we took a ferry out to see Fort Sumter because our sons are very fascinated with military history (hmm I should do a series about that too), and during the boat trip we found that many sea birds followed us and put on quite the show. I ran from one end of the boat to the other numerous times capturing the antics of the birds. This is one of my favourites because of how I caught the black headed gull (pretty sure that’s what it is) in mid flap so that you can feel the motion. I also like how the water in the background is nicely blurred to put total focus on the bird.