This page introduces the activities and games that deal with the marvel of flight. This visual comparison between a human arm and a bird's wing allows for a one-to-one comparison of bones. The bird's silhouette also describes in detail the different parts of the wing, and how they help a bird fly.



Explain to students the Mechanics of Flight via anatomical comparison

Forces of thrust, lift, drag and weight work together to make both airplanes and birds
fly. If all are equal, then the bird or plane will fly in a level path.

Thrust is the pull of gravity. The car rolling down a hill faster and faster is an example
of this pull

Lift is generated when the forward motion through the skies overcomes its weight. Birds create lift by moving forward. Think of when you've been at the beach and watched a sea gull or tern running into the wind to begin flight. The upper air on top of the wing draws the bird upwards while the increased pressure underneath also pushes it upwards.

The force that tends to push something along with the flow of the air is drag. Think of a garbage can or the stones and other debris that roll down the street in a rainstorm. In a flying bird, drag is reduced with the shape of the wings and body as well as the angle of
the wing. To slow down, a bird will use drag by spreading its tail and lowering its feet.

  Hunters & Hunted
  What's for Lunch?
  How's the Water
  Beaks are Tools
  Backyard Birdfeeder
  Shapes & Sizes
  Lift Off
  A Big Enough Wing
  Migration Hopscotch
  Sing Out Loud
  Virtual Incubator
  Dance of Love
  On the Egg
  Becoming a Bird
  The Big Deal: The Feather
  Dead or Alive
  Are Birds Dinosaurs?

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