Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Science

Why Birds Fly In a V Formation 207

Posted by samzenpus
from the heading-south dept.
sciencehabit writes "Anyone watching the autumn sky knows that migrating birds fly in a V formation, but scientists have long debated why. A new study of ibises — where researchers took to microlight planes and recorded birds strapped with GPS in-flight — finds that these big-winged birds carefully position their wingtips and sync their flapping, presumably to catch the preceding bird's updraft and save energy during flight."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Why Birds Fly In a V Formation

Comments Filter:
  • Re:This is new? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iggymanz (596061) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @09:47PM (#45972339)

    which was done decades ago, I laughed at the 80s mention, I was taught as child in the 60s and in 70s this was popular science fair homemade wind tunnel experiment.

    About once a month slashdot runs article on "discovery" or "invention" that is decades old

  • by Cramer (69040) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @11:01PM (#45972775) Homepage

    Incorrect. Watch some windtunnel tests. The vortex is behind the vehicle, not beside it.

    A better word for this is "slipstream". You get close enough to have no air to push through. If your car has radar cruise control, following close enough to make a huge difference isn't too dangerous. (obviously on a highway where people aren't very unpredictable. and you're far better off following semi's.)

  • Re: This is new? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Em Adespoton (792954) <slashdotonly.1.adespoton@spamgourmet.com> on Thursday January 16, 2014 @02:20AM (#45973723) Homepage Journal

    Pigeons fly in V formation, as do crows. Actually, most birds that size do. Once you start getting smaller though, they flock, but don't do the V formation -- even with migratory birds. Once you're down to Juncos, Chickadees and Sparrows, they use more of a chaotic swarm and weave method to confuse predators -- but they also tend to hop from tree to tree, and don't fly long distances in the open.

    What really confuses me is seagulls -- they flock like smaller birds and yet travel distances and have few (land/air) predators.

Old programmers never die, they just hit account block limit.

Working...