The Unfeathered Bird

500 years after Leonardo, the mechanics of bird flight still enthralls.

(Katrina van Grouw)


(Katrina van Grouw)

The group of birds loosely referred to as gamebirds is essentially the whole order Galliformes—the pheasants, grouse, guineafowl, and related birds, including the Red Junglefowl, above. Their large breast muscles make them incapable of sustaining flight for long periods; the birds quickly tire and need to rely on protracted glides on downcurved wings to carry them any distance.

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