Review of Birds In Flight

Birds in Flight: The Art and Science of How Birds Fly was written by naturalist and wildlife biologist Carrol Henderson. Mr. Henderson lives in Minnesota but has led birding trips across the globe. He is an amazing photographer and some of his work is showcased in this book, along with other illustrators and photographers.

Birds in Flight is broken into three main parts:

  1. The Art of Birds in Flight
  2. The author discusses the beauty and wonder of birds locally and abroad. He mixes in his experiences with tips and ideas to fully see and appreciate the flight of birds.

  3. Avian Aerodynamics
  4. Chapters two through five delve into the science of flight. Wingtip vortex, Venetian blind effect and Bernoulli’s Principle might sound unfamiliar or complicated but the author makes these scientific concepts interesting and understandable. He also writes about feathers, bones and wing structure. Chapter five discusses the importance of the tail, used in all kinds of aerial maneuvers.

  5. On the Wing
  6. Taking off, landing and the types of flight are in the last three chapters. Some birds use their legs to push off into flight, others need a long runway of water to lift off. They also have different ways they land, from hovering down to water-skiing. Birds have many unique flight patterns which help them fly long distances or search for prey.

Birds in Flight combines equally the joy and wonder of seeing birds fly with the science of how they manage it. A good reader from about ten on up could handle this great book and it is a gorgeous addition to any bird lover’s library.

A great phrase from this book:

The Black Vulture is the Rodney Dangerfield of the bird world. It gets no respect.

Rating: 10 of 10 feathers

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