When man decided he wanted to fly, he had to create a flying machine. When you examine a bird, you can see that Nature has done everything possible to make the bird a perfect flying machine.
First of all, the bird has wings. The main flight feathers of the wings are attached to the bone of the outer arm by a tough cord of tissue called a “sinew”. The supporting flight feathers are attached to the upper arm bone in the same way.
Each feather has its own set of muscles, so the bird can control each feather in flight. On the up-beat of the wing, the main and Some Of the supporting flight feathers are turned so the edges are turned up. The air can pass easily between the feathers. On the down-beat, all the flight feathers have flat sides down and air cannot pass through the wings. In this way, the bird pushes himself into the air—and takes off in flight!
But a flying body must have the greatest possible lightness, compactness, and strength. So the large bones of a bird are hollow. Many of them have air sacs. The ribs of a bird are fused to make firm support for the down-beat of the wings.
The head, tail, wings, and legs of a bird are extremely light. The bones of the skulls are very thin. A bird does not have teeth and jaws with heavy bones and muscles —it has instead a hollow beak.
The strong muscles that move the wings are attached to the breast- bone, bringing them closer to the center of gravity. Even the fact that birds are warm-blooded is a help because cold-blooded creatures become sluggish in winter. So you see, everything about the bird is “designed” to help it to fly!
Do Birds Die In Flight?
Birds don’t usually drop dead in mid-flight – they die in their nest or are caught and eaten.