Why birds don't crash into each other?

Why birds don't crash into each other?

You might have already seen a flock of birds flying. Sometimes, it has a defined shape, but other times it becomes into dough of birds, flying really close to each other, but, why birds don’t crash into each other? In Science4you, we have wondering the same, but now we have the answer! Keep reading and discover it, little scientist!

Why do they fly in flocks?

The majority of birds are migratory, which means that they change of place depending on the season. For example, they can live in Europe during spring and summer, and migrate to America during autumn looking for a hotter weather. During this period, the big flocks which we can see, are formed.

But, how do they know where they are flying to? As lot of animals, birds use the magnetic camp of the Earth, little scientist! They can feel it and get their bearing, so we could say that they have kind of an intern compass. Don’t you think that it is interesting, little scientist?

How are birds organised?

Although you can’t believe it, birds have been here for million of years! In fact, they are considered as the inheritor of dinosaurs!! Moreover, birds, along with bugs, lizards and fishes were the first species in this World.

This is the reason why their orientation mechanism and strategies have evolved so much. They haven’t become more complicated, but more efficient. Therefore, the have developed a group flying system which allows them fly without crashing into each other. Even though we don’t exactly know yet how they can do it, it seems as though they join into couples or little groups of birds (5-7 singles), which occupy a specific space into the flock, whose size is always the same, but they can change the shape. For example, if the couple or group of birds which are just in before them stop and move backwards, they will do the same, and the group at their back too, and so successively.

Furthermore, some scientific and biologic research have discovered that every single flock flies to different altitudes, and in case of danger of collapsing, they all ALWAYS turn right. Consequently, you are not likely to see a bird crashing into each other in your whole life.


  • Flocks help them to guide, protect from predators and save energy.
  • Each bird, or group of them, head the flock approximately the same amount of time than every other one.
  • The Sea Swallow (Sterna Paradisaea) travels 70.000 km every year to migrate.
  • The Alpine Swift (Tachymarptis melba) can fly during 200 days consecutively , without sleeping!!
  • The Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) flies over the Himalaya during his migration, so he is the birds with the highest fly.

Now that you know a little bit more about birds and why they don’t crash, don’t you think it is interesting? Surely you will pay more attention to flocks of birds, little scientist! Keep tuned to our blog if you want to find out more interesting scientific fact and our latest news!


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