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How do birds on a wire balance themselves?

Imagine yourself standing on a wire 40 feet above the ground with a gentle wind swaying the wire back and forth. How would you balance yourself?

Birds on a Wire

You would probably swing your arms back and forth wildly in order to try and maintain balance. Why is it that you never see birds flapping their wings wildly to maintain balance?

This question has fostered many government studies and scientific research. The reason most birds will stay on a wire without flapping is that they have absolute confidence that they will not fall off.

Where does this confidence come from? It comes from the fact that many birds such as the common blackbird and the song thrush actually secrete a kind of super glue from their feet, sticking them to the wire.

This glue needs to be secreted every so often as it is not a permanent glue. But nonetheless it is a very effected telephone wire adhesive.

The common crow is one bird that does not have the ability to glue itself to a wire and thus it uses its talons to form an "O" ring around the wire. Every once in a great while you may spot a tired or lazy crow that has slipped on now hangs upside down, looking indignant. Some of the young Malaysian crows have been know to tuck their heads under and do revolutions on the telephone wires like gymnasts on a horizontal bar.

No matter what, it is widely acknowledged in the bird world that flapping one's wings in a huge social faux paux. So birds will do whatever they can to avoid this behavior including occasionally hanging upside down to the chagrin of others.











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