Table 1.

Mean wing beat kinematics of a starling (bird 15) measured by high-speed cinematography during flight in a wind tunnel

Flight speed (m s-1)Frequency (Hz)*Wingbeat amplitude (degrees)*Downstroke ratio*Stroke plane angle (degrees)*Wing span (m)*
6.139.78±0.6453.3±3.91.04±0.1556.0±3.10.35±0.012
7.969.62±0.4640.9±0.80.75±0.0770.8±2.00.36±0.005
9.989.62±0.5744.5±4.50.93±0.9080.7±2.20.34±0.005
12.609.86±1.0544.0±3.10.76±0.1585.0±1.30.35±0.012
14.249.53±1.2941.4±2.50.69±0.1685.1±2.30.34±0.009
  • Mass of bird 15 was 83.3±2.0 g (N=5).

    Wingspan is the maximum measured lateral projection of the wingtip to wingtip spacing during the mid downstroke.

    Wingbeat amplitude is calculated from maximum upstroke and downstroke positions.

    Downstroke ratio is the ratio of time during the downstroke to time during the upstroke.

    Stroke plane angle is the angle between a line joining the maximum upstroke and downstroke positions and the horizontal.

  • * Values are means ± s.d.