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Re: New MANIAC book is out! -good/poor flyer

I would suggest that "poor flyers" use flight as an escape method, but not as a 
normal mode of locomotion.
A "good flyer" flies to travel from point A to point B.

Good flyers: Albatross, Vultures, small woodland birds, hummingbirds, most 
waterfowl (maybe), etc...

How often do you see the above birds walking around, aside from a very local 
vicinity where they are foraging for/eating food?
They fly to travel.

Now look at turkeys.... when do you observe them flying? basically never except 
when threatened.
>From what I've seen, they are not graceful in the air, they do not glide very 
>well, and they are not very maneuverable, but they can get in the air and that 
>is enough to escape most predators.
Chickens would also likely qualify as poor flyers.
Woodland birds don't climb from limb to limb, or drop down to the ground, walk 
to another bush, and climb back up, they fly to move around, granted its likely 
a meter or two at a time...

I would say if you take a species, put it in an environment devoid of 
predators(but otherwise like the one it was taken from), and you do not observe 
the flight "behavior", it is a poor flyer.

So as to fossils: if it appears flight was a primary form of locomotion-> it 
was a "good flyer", even if it wasn't as good as the "average" modern bird (use 
a crow as a reference?).
If it appears it would only fly when threatened -> poor flyer.

There may be another category: only flies in the final stages of pursuit of 
prey (but not searching for it, as with a hawk).