do birds crash into each other

A straightforward question that you’ve probably never considered is: why don’t you ever see two birds collide in midair, given all the birds that fly around? To address this, scientists placed parakeets, also known as budgerigars, in an air tunnel and watched them fly in the direction of one another. They discovered that birds have developed a basic defense mechanism against collisions in midair: every bird always veers right and adjusts its altitude. The authors propose that airline guidance systems could implement similar tactics. If only there were a crowded sidewalk where the same regulations applied!

“We have studied how birds avoid colliding in midair when they are facing each other head-on.” High-speed video cameras were used to record the trajectories of birds flying in a tunnel towards each other. Two straightforward collision avoidance strategies are suggested by data analysis and modeling: (a) each bird veers to the right, and (b) each bird adjusts its altitude in relation to the other bird in accordance with a predetermined preference. Both approaches offer straightforward guidelines for preventing collisions when two agents—whether they be machines or animals—come into direct contact. The results may have implications for the development of guidance algorithms for automated aircraft collision avoidance. There is one free article remaining. Want more? Access is unlimited for just $1. 99/month.

Birds don’t have the same problem as humans, where they don’t know which way to go to avoid someone as they walk down the sidewalk.

Flying is, of course, a three-dimensional activity. The team discovered less consistency in the direction that birds flew in order to avoid collisions. They speculate that this could be related to a bird’s size or social standing. But the birds “rarely” fly at the same altitudes to start in an effort to avoid this scenario as much as possible.

David Grossman is a staff writer for PopularMechanics. com. He has previously contributed to Rolling Stone, The Verge, The New Republic, and a number of other magazines. Hes based out of Brooklyn.

Three scientists from the University of Queensland in Australia were studying how drones, as they become increasingly common in airspace, will steer clear of one another. While militaries around the world have struggled with the same question regarding planes, commercial drones are small enough that the scientists felt they might find the answer by studying the birds. They were surprised to find that there were “no studies” that “looked specifically at what happens when two birds fly towards each other.”

The natural collision-avoidance mechanisms that help birds avoid repeatedly colliding with objects in the sky, people, and other birds have been found by researchers. They simply move to the right.


Why do birds not crash into each other?

They found that birds have evolved a simple way to avoid mid-air collisions: each bird always veers right and changes altitude. The authors suggest that these same strategies could be applied to airplane guidance systems. Now if only the same rules would apply on a crowded sidewalk!

How often do birds collide with each other?

Birds colliding with each other mid-air is relatively rare and not a common occurrence. Birds are highly skilled at navigating through the air, and they have evolved a variety of adaptations to prevent collisions. These adaptations include keen eyesight, excellent maneuverability, and complex communication systems.

What keeps birds from flying into each other?

Air or water flows naturally generated during flight or swimming can prevent collisions and separations, allowing even individuals with different flapping motions to travel together,” explains Joel Newbolt, a doctoral candidate in the physics department at New York University and the lead author of the research, which …

Do starlings ever collide with each other?

Starlings are able to stay within inches of other starlings, in groups of hundreds or thousands of individuals, turning at high speeds, without ever colliding.