Fly like a bird…..

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.


This entry was posted in Birds, Blogging, Charleston, SC, Nature, Photography, Wind and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Fly like a bird…..

  1. TBM says:

    I would love that feeling–to soar. Great shot…and since I’m a Civil War nerd, can we please see Fort Sumter. I’ve never been. Pretty please 🙂

  2. krikitarts says:

    This is a lovely photograpy, Cindy. Glad you brought it out. BTW, some birds actually do need wind to fly, or at least to take to the air. There is a colony of wandering albatross on a cape near Dunedin, New Zealand (the only one of its kind close to human habitation), and I learned there that they cannot take flight if the wind velocity is lower than 30 km per hour. It has the widest wingspan of any bird (up to 11 feet).

    • Yes, I sort of mentioned that in the first paragraph – that poor albatross must get bored when there is a stretch of calm, windless weather. :). Actually, flight amazes me in general, with or without wind. I’m still in awe over the fact that planes can stay in the air to tell you the honest truth. I would love to try paragliding one day, just to see what it feels like. My husband thinks I’m crazy, but I think it would be fun!!

      • krikitarts says:

        Happily for the albatross, calm conditions are a rarity where they nest, or they wouldn’t have established a colony there. As for paragliding, if/when you do try it, go with a pro! A viable alternitive is going up in a glider/sailplane, and it’s very worth the ride!

  3. Love these photos! This reminds me of Soarin’ at Epcot. It was amazing to feel like a bird for a short time! 🙂

  4. Yes, it would be! I appreciate your comments – thanks.

  5. Gilly Gee says:

    Such a sharp photo!

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