Page 9 - September 29, 2021
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{ 8 }  SNJ Today  |  SEPTEMBER 29, 2021                                                                        SEPTEMBER 29, 2021  |   { 9 }

         These skimmers face the wind for lift should they need to take to flight to avoid
                  perceived danger. PHOTO: FESTIVE COQUETTE, FLICKR
     wingbeats. Furthermore an outstretched   but these seaside conditions allow for sus-
     wing is good for gliding and a bent wing is   tained flight.
     advantageous for quick maneuverability.   Perhaps the most implausible and
        Soon people will be heading to Cape   impressive of the soarers is the wandering
     May Point to watch large numbers of birds   albatross. It has the largest wingspan of any
     migrate across Delaware Bay. By soaring   bird, at 11 t0 12 feet across. In southern New
     and utilizing updrafts and thermals the   Jersey our largest wingspans belong to the
     birds achieve heights that permit them to   great blue heron, brown pelican, and bald
     glide across the intervening water. They   and golden eagle, measuring from six to 7.5
     will also swirl in groups, drafting each other   feet, and a sporadic trumpeter swan at eight
     as they climb in a silo-shaped formation   feet (occasional winter visitor).
     called a “kettle.” This allows them to reduce   Wandering albatrosses make use of
     drag on those who follow.            dynamic soaring in which the water is key.
        Colonial birds face the wind for a fast   They rely on riding thermals but at differ-
     getaway. Skimmers, because of their very   ent heights they change strategy. When
     long beaks, make this readily observable.   they fly so high that they can travel in the
     Many birds remain at the ready to take   same direction as the wind they move with
     flight, or if not they normally adjust to face   it, and on descent they travel swiftly, thus
     the wind before becoming airborne; oth-  progressing forward. They can also rely on
     erwise they would have to flap harder and   a tacking technique, zig-zagging like a sail-  Complete Pair  89
     faster to lift off.                  boat but still making progress. Researchers
        Different shapes or designs of birds spell   found they can move 3,000 miles per week
     out the different approaches to flight. For   while expending very little energy.  of Glasses         Includes Exam
     chimney swifts flight might be somewhat   Buckle your safety belts or better yet   $         95  *     with Contact
     dictated by their feet—well, sort of. Their   take note of emergency liferafts for these               Lens Fitting,
     long claws are not designed for perching   facts. Wandering albatross only come   49.                 Trials & Glasses
     but rather for clinging to vertical surfaces   ashore to breed. When they first fledge they
 weeks of age they start floating up and low-  like those found in caves, hollow trees,   may stay at sea for five years, never return-  Includes Eye Exam
 ering back to the nest. They exercise their   chimneys, and airshafts. So when they leave   ing to land. In their southern ocean habitat
 wings a lot in preparation for their first   their cavities they can’t simply land on a   they only need to flap every few hours and
 solos at seven to eight weeks of age.  branch. With the exception of nesting and   can fly more than 50 miles per hour. They
 Ospreys, like other hawks, also make use  roosting these birds fly continuously. They   can smell prey and track fish for up to 12
 of high perches; thus they can rely on glid-  eat while flying and can even sleep in that   miles. They can live to be 60 years of age.     $15 OFF
 ing, thermals, and flapping. Young osprey   state. Their long wings and relatively short   Clearly humans were first inspired   any frame
 who are not used to flight are often found   cigar-shaped bodies are perfectly suited to   to fly by our fascination with birds, and
 exhausted on the ground or on docks and   maintain this flight.  over time we have had technological suc-  over $49.95
 are unable to get airborne. In these instanc-  The world has some extraordinary   cess. There is still a lot to learn from our
 es they are susceptible to predation and   winged creatures. The Andean condor, at   feathered friends, whose biomechanics are
 elements, but if allowed sufficient time to   35 pounds, is the heaviest soaring bird, aloft   continually studied. When it comes to fly-  BRAND   Ultra Wide Field Retinal Imaging
 rest they are normally able to achieve flight.  about 99 percent of the time. It lives on cliff   ing unassisted birds have truly captured the   NEW Without Drops!
 Experienced osprey can fly from a low sur-  faces in the Andes where updrafts created   imagination of people since the beginning
 face and even after submerging in water.   along these formations aid its flight.   of time. n
 They are often said to be the only bird that   In Peru I had the opportunity to soar the   *Offer valid with frames tagged $49 (with SV lenses). Eye exam alone priced $39.
 can shake off water in flight.  cliff faces of Lima with the assistance of a   Sources  All eye exams performed by Dr. Christopher Mrochko. NJ Optometrist Lic#27OA00607700
 So larger, heavier birds prefer to rely   paraglider—oh, yes, and a pilot. The ocean   Audubon, “Masters of the Sky…” by
 on soaring or gliding to get started, and   creates wind currents against the cliff’s face   María Paula, Sept. 4, 2020  856.507.1800 |
 they also position their wings to create an   that produce an updraft. Most places only   Cornell’s
 updraft. Small songbirds depend on rapid   allow a downward glide with a paraglider,   Smithsonian Magazine  301 South Main Road (Maintree Shopping Center) Vineland, NJ
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