Story: Bird migration

Migrating knots

Migrating knots

Many migratory species fly in flocks, which may help less experienced birds find the way. Flying in a flock like these lesser knots is also more energy efficient, as the wingbeats stir up the air, reducing its resistance. The best place to fly is behind the wingtip of another bird, as each down-stroke creates a swirl of upwashed air. For long distances, birds fly in a V formation to make the best use of this principle.

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University of Otago
Photograph by Phil Battley

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How to cite this page:

Christina Troup, 'Bird migration - Preparation for the journey', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 16 June 2024)

Story by Christina Troup, published 12 Jun 2006, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015