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Re: Fw: avian flight



In a message dated 1/20/01 1:30:54 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
tommy.tyrberg@norrkoping.mail.telia.com writes:

> I quite agree. This is the normal way for birds with high wing-loading
>  (=high forward speed and/or high sink rate) to land. They increase the
>  angle-of-attack (alpha) just before landing, thereby converting their
>  forward speed into an upward force, do a controlled stall and land on their
>  feet [...]  If You want to see a beautiful example of this method watch 
auks 
>  landing on their nesting ledges.

I have also observed Western Scrub Jays (_Aphelocoma californica_) doing much 
the same thing.  Scrub Jays like to glide fast and low, and then when they 
want to land, they flick their wings upward (palms forward), stall 
momentarily, and drop onto their feet.

It might also be worth noting that, like _Archaeopteryx_, Scrub Jays are 
approximately crow-sized and have very long tails.

--Nick P.