Sunday, 5 May 2013

#423 In the studio: Bird anatomy, con't . . .

Please start this bird anatomy series with post #403, March 10.

Wing shapes vary among birds, reflecting the adaptations they have made to different environments.  There are four basic wing shapes, and all birds fall into a semblance of one of the four configurations.  The size and shape of the wings give clues to how the bird lives:

   1.  Long, wide wings are used by soaring birds such as hawks, eagles, and
        ravens.  A wing is considered long when it exceeds the length of the
        bird's body.
   2.  Narrow and pointed wings are used by fast flying birds such as swallows,
        swifts, and many migratory birds such as ducks and geese.
   3.  Long and narrow wings are used by gliding birds such as albatrosses,
        gulls, terns, fulmars, and shearwaters.
   4.  Wide and rounded wings are used for short, fast, and quick-escape flight
        birds such as grouse, pheasants, pigeons, and owls.

The wings of birds do not all have the same shape and size, but all fall into one of the four basic categories.  The shape and size of the wings determines what style of flying a bird executes.  Wing shape is one of the primary ways to identify different species.

Below are illustrations of four different wings.  Each fall into one of the four wing shape categories.

Below is a drawing of a Canada Goose . . . the large bird is migratory and falls into the
basic wing shape of number 2.  However, the wing is also wide and can be considered
to fall into a slight semblance of wing shape number 1, even though it cannot soar. 

All sculpture and drawings - copyright Sandy Scott

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