WATCH THE WINGBEATS

Bird Watching (UK) - - March Id Challenge -

The flight style of larger birds (which th­ese long-necked species are) tend to be steady, pow­er­ful and di­rect. How­ever, there are sub­tle dif­fer­ences in flight style be­tween the dif­fer­ent types of birds. Herons as a whole have flex­i­ble arched wings in flight, like chil­dren’s draw­ings of ‘seag­ulls’. How­ever, larger birds, such as Cranes, have a much stiffer winged flight style, so a dis­tant fly­ing Crane is more rem­i­nis­cent of a swan in flight than a heron. Even among the herons, there are slight dif­fer­ences which are worth look­ing out for. A clas­sic ex­am­ple of this is the dif­fer­ence be­tween Lit­tle and Great White Egrets. Lit­tle Egrets are much smaller birds and have a much quicker wing­beat ca­dence. Great Whites are roughly the size of Grey Herons and look strik­ingly huge and lan­guid in flight, with slow wingbeats.

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