Why do Birds Fly in a V?
It is migration time once again. You see lots of birds flying south in a v formation. This is a common sight especially when your place is in the migration path of birds that fly to a warmer place during the winter. There are scientific and practical reasons for this.
The v formation helps reduce the drag that the birds encounter when flying compared to when they are flying solo. This enables the birds to conserve energy for the long trip to where they are going. Each bird flies slightly above the one before him which results in a reduction of wind resistance. The bird in front is the most worked out one because he is the one flying through undisturbed air. When it gets tired, it can just fly into the rear to be able to get some rest and let another bird lead the formation.
When birds glide, they do not have to use up a lot of energy because they do not need to flap their wings. Studies have been made that birds that fly solo flap their wings more frequently and have higher heart rates compared to birds that fly in groups in a formation. Gliding helps in conserving energy.
The V formation also allows the birds to travel for a longer period of time without the need to make frequent stops to rest. Because energy is conserved even if they are in flight, they can stretch it out to cover more miles thus reaching their destination much faster.
Another reason for the V formation is that the birds can communicate easily. Each is able to keep tabs on the other birds in the formation. This helps in minimizing the possibility of losing birds throughout the course of their migration.
Birds in a V formation are an amazing sight indeed.