Q:

Why do birds fly in a V formation?

A:

Quick Answer

Birds fly in a V-shaped formation to conserve energy and for better communication among the birds, according to Scientific American. Birds also fly in a J-shaped formation, and studies have shown that a true V-shaped formation is less common than a J-shaped formation.

  Know More

Full Answer

In a V formation, birds take advantage of the up-wash vortex fields created by the wings of the birds in front. The formation also allows for careful orientation and collision avoidance. During short-distance flights, energy conservation is less important; on long-distance flights, such as migrations, an optimal position in the flock is vital for saving energy. The leaders of formations change from time to time, but scientists have not determined the causes, frequency and characteristics of these changes.

Learn more about Birds

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Can all birds fly?

    A:

    Despite having wings, not all birds can fly. There are several types of flightless birds, including the penguin, kiwi, moa, weka and kakapo. Kiwis for Kiwi, an independent charity that protects the kiwi populations in New Zealand, states that there are more species of flightless birds in New Zealand than in any other country.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why can birds fly?

    A:

    According to Birds in Backyards, birds can fly because every part of their anatomy has evolved to enhance flight. In order for a bird to fly, it must be lightweight. Therefore, birds have evolved lightweight hollow bones which resemble a honeycomb, making them strong yet light. In addition, birds have fewer organs and no teeth, and they use a gizzard to grind up their food.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How fast do birds fly?

    A:

    Most birds fly at a speed of around 20 to 30 miles per hour. If birds are in danger or hunting, their flight speeds can increase greatly.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What kinds of birds do not fly?

    A:

    Some of the most common examples of flightless birds include emus, ostriches and penguins. Cassowaries, kiwis and the kakapo parrot are other types of flightless birds. There are around 57 main species of flightless birds.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore