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Q: Bird Behavior ( Answered ,   1 Comment )
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 Subject: Bird Behavior Category: Miscellaneous Asked by: bob49-ga List Price: \$5.00 Posted: 14 Dec 2004 11:12 PST Expires: 13 Jan 2005 11:12 PST Question ID: 442524
 ```When a flock of birds land on a telephone wire, why do almost all of them end up facing in the same direction?```
 ```Hi bob49, I have it on good authority from our resident Wildlife Biologist that birds sitting on a wire will face into the wind. That is because they will come in for a landing facing *into* the wind and be all set for take-off still *into* the wind (like an airplane). Also, facing into the wind helps to retain body heat because facing the other way around will ruffle their feathers. If it's a warm, windless day, birds will sit every-which-way. Something of interest he just told me now is if you're downwind from a colour-banded bird, your chances of being able to read the band are decreased because the bird will be facing into the wind and therefore its back and tail will be obscuring of the band. "Have you ever noticed a flock of birds perched on a power line? If it is a calm day about half of them will be facing one direction while the other half face the opposite direction. However, if the wind begins to blow they will eventually turn and all face the same direction, which is, into the wind. Have you ever wondered why? On a calm day the birds can take off and land in almost any direction. But as the winds begin to pick up they will all take off and land into the wind. Why? Because that is how they get the most lift. Their bodies are designed that way. Birds facing the winds don?t get their feathers ruffled. The winds simply flow over the contour of their bodies. But if a bird is turned the opposite direction with its tail facing the wind, it ruffles their feathers and they are off balance. An airplane is the same way. It always takes off into the wind, not with the wind, which is a tail wind. Why? Because it gives them the lift they need to become airborne and for the airplane to fly." http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Seavey7.html Bird photography: "Do understand, that in almost all cases, subject-to-film-plane orientation will be determined by wind direction. Unless it is dead calm (or close to it), or your subjects are in a sheltered area, most birds will face directly into the wind. And this holds true not only for birds in flight, but for birds resting on an open beach, for birds perched in a tree or on a wire, or for birds sitting on a clean perch at your feeding set-up." http://www.birdsasart.com/bn123.htm Additional Links of Interest: "White-crowned Sparrows tend to visit feeders early and late in the day. They enjoy millet and also will eat sunflower chips and cracked corn. They will avoid conflicts when eating by facing the same direction as other birds. Some White-crowned Sparrows migrate; others do not. Those that migrate join larger winter flocks and establish communal territory. They will return each winter to the same area. Golden-crowned Sparrows live in California eight months of the year and spend winter along a narrow strip of the West Coast. They form large winter flocks and cover 15 to 20 acres. They avoid face-to-face conflict with other birds while feeding (like the White-crowned Sparrows) by facing the same direction while feeding. " http://www.wbu.com/edu/sparrows.htm Himalayan Birds Face Uphill While Singing: http://elibrary.unm.edu/sora/Auk/v106n04/p0728-p0729.pdf Thank you for the interesting question. If you have any questions, please post a clarification request *before* closing/rating my answer and I'll be happy to reply. Thank you, hummer Google Search Terms Used: birds facing in same direction birds face same direction```
 ```I never knew that! Here I was thinking 'They face whichever way they landed...duh!'. I love this service...I learn new stuff every day! - ltcarF (the wind was blowing from the right)```