GlidingFlying with the wings stiffly outstretched instead of being flapped. Birds glide between wing beats or when descending, or when rising against the wind. Gliding involves travelling in a more or less straight line, circling in rising air currents ('thermals') being called 'soaring'. Whereas as wide variety of birds glide, those which soar have long relatively narrow wings, for example some type of raptor and the gulls (family Laridae). Soaring is useful for saving energy while scanning the ground for prey or other food and while on migration.
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From Peter Weaver's Birdwatcher's Dictionary
Copyright © 1981 by Peter Weaver