Art

“In Flight”

"Golden Eagle" by Mark Harvey.

Photographer Mark Harvey captured these stunning portraits of birds in flight. From acrobatic songbirds to soaring raptors, the images show the incredible morphology of a bird’s wing during flight. Most birds are constantly changing their wing shape to generate lift, change trajectory, and stabilize their flight. Note the separation between the flight feathers in all of these birds. Those gaps are thought help break up the birds’ wingtip vortices, thereby reducing their induced drag. You may also notice that the owls in Harvey’s photos have feathers that look a bit different from the other birds; owls have adaptations in their feathers that help damp out turbulence, which makes them quieter in flight. Prints of Harvey’s images are available on his website. (Image credit: M. Harvey; via Colossal 1, 2)

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