Scientists have discovered that migratory birds fly in a V formation to take advantage the upward airflow created by those in front of them.
A group of international scientists, including those from the Royal Veterinary College in London, has discovered that migratory birds fly in a V formation to take advantage the upward airflow created by those in front of them.
That theory has been around for a while, but this is the first study backed by technology.
Also learned was that the birds adopt a precise wing flap that furthers the energy-saving benefits.
The discovery came as part of a larger effort focused on repopulating Europe with the northern bald ibis, which has disappeared from the area due to hunting.
Flocks of them are being raised and trained to migrate to and from certain areas of the continent.
To facilitate the endeavor, entire groups have been outfitted with tiny data logging devices.
Those trackers provided the information necessary to perhaps once and for all unlock the secrets of the V formation.
The scientists found that the birds will seek out the most advantageous spot in terms of air flow.
Not only do they find the precise location that allows them to coast a bit on the air upwash provided by the bird in front of them, they’ll adjust the flapping of their wings to make the most of it.