Teachers Guide

 Insects  Birds  Bats
 Pterosaurs  Fish
 Wing Structures


 Seed Helicopter
 Build a Bird

 Ornithopter Zone
 Web Site Links


Welcome to Bird Flight!

Actually, this web site isn't just about bird flight! It's also about insect flight, and bats, and pterosaurs. I've included every group of flying animals. Check out the links to each of these flying creatures to learn more about them. You can even compare the wings of different kinds of animals to see the different ways they are adapted to flight. There is also some information on how birds fly, and some fun projects where you'll make your own flying models!

Two thirds of all animal species can fly. Flapping-winged flight is everywhere in nature. If you've ever wondered how birds fly, you'll find the answers here. There is even an online store with flying models you can build!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the largest bird that can fly?
A: The wandering albatross has the largest wingspan, at 3.4 meters. The kori bustard is the heaviest flying bird. It can weigh almost 20 kg. An extinct, vulture-like bird called the giant teratorn, Argentavis magnificens, weighed about 75 kg and had a wingspan of 8 meters!

Q: What limits the size of a bird?
A: The larger a bird is, the less power its muscles can produce, in relation to their weight. That's why larger birds have to work harder to take off, and one reason why birds aren't bigger. Also, if a really large bird spent a lot of time flapping its wings, it would need a huge amount of food. That's why most large birds use soaring flight most of the time.

Q: What's a pterosaur?
A: A pterosaur is what most people call a "pterodactyl". Scientists actually reserve the word "pterodactyl" for a particular group of pterosaurs.

Q: Can a machine, robot, or aircraft fly like a bird?
A: Yes. A machine that flies like a bird is called an "ornithopter". more info