Wing Shapes

Wing Shapes

Active Soaring Wings
Long and narrow. Excellent for soaring (flying without flapping) over water as long as wind currents are favorable.

Passive Soaring Wings
Long and broad wings ending in long primary feathers with wide gaps in between. These slots help the bird take advantage of columns of rising hot air, allowing it to soar without reliable wind currents.

Elliptical Wings
Optimized for bursts of fast, tightly controlled flight. Excellent at taking off quickly, maneuvering through branches, and avoiding predators. Ordinary flight is slow and usually requires flapping.

High-Speed Wings
Medium-long and narrow, optimized for sustained speed.

Hovering Wings
Small relative to body size. Excellent for tightly controlled flight and hovering. Articulates mostly at the shoulder rather than the wrist.

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