Enter Teachers' Guide

The ratio of the length of the wings to its width is called the aspect ratio.

Doves and woodpeckers have a low aspect ratio. To get away from predators
quickly these birds make sharp turns. The shape of their wings allows them
to do so. On the other hand, falcons and frigate birds have high aspect ratios,
giving them the ability to sustain high-speed flight for long periods. However,
these birds do not have wings that can be flapped as rapidly as their
woodpecker cousins who have better maneuverability.

Wing loading is the relationship between wing area and body mass given in
grams per square centimeter of wing surface area. Birds can have small
wings relative to body mass, others have proportionately large wing areas.
If a bird is small but has rather large wings, it will have a low wing loading.
A large bird with small wings will consequently have a high wing loading.

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