178 pages, colour & b/w photos, colour & b/w illustrations
Birds fly very efficiently, doing little work themselves, and gaining large amounts of energy from the atmosphere. Whether on local flights or migration, they have the freedom to fly anywhere they please. It is because of this that scientists have long been fascinated with how birds remain the ultimate aviators. Birds Never Get Lost includes reports of how bird flight has been studied in laboratories, as well as by flying with them. It also provides a comprehensive background of what distinguishes birds from other flying animals, past and present, from bats to pterosaurs.
Chapter 1. Who started flight, animal and human? 1
Chapter 2. How fast do they go in level flight? 15
Chapter 3. How far can you go on a full tank? 31
Chapter 4. The biggest and smallest birds 45
Chapter 5. Why fly now? 61
Chapter 6. Up with the storks 79
Chapter 7. Flying to make a living 97
Chapter 8. Migration over the sea 117
Chapter 9. Tension versus cantilever wings 137
Chapter 10. The bird and its autopilot 151
Chapter 11. The Flight programme 169
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Colin Pennycuick is a zoologist, trained to fly in the RAF, and a lifelong pilot of powered aircraft and gliders. Sandy Pennycuick is an artist.