Hovering Flight in the Pied Flycatcher (Ficedula Hypoleuca)

  • U. M. Norberg


Slow-motion films (200 frames/sec) taken in the field on a freely hovering pied flycathcer, Ficedula hypoleuca (Pallas), are used for description of the kinematics and for calculation of an average coefficient of lift, \({{\bar{C}}_{L}}\), in hovering flight. Using Weis-Fogh’s (1972) equations for steady-state aerodynamics, and assuming that the upstroke gives no useful forces, the average lift coefficient is estimated to be about 5. 3. Since this high value of \({{\bar{C}}_{L}}\) is not consistent with steady-state aerodynamics, non-steady-state phenomena must be of large importance.


Reversal Point Pied Flycatcher Wing Area Horizontal Straight Line Wing Movement 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Brown, R.H. J. 1951 Flapping flight. Ibis, 93, 333–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Greenewalt, C.H. 1960 Hummingbirds. Doubleday, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Hansson, S. A., Lennderstedt, I., Myhrberg, H., and Nyholm, E. 1966 Holstudier vid Ammarnäs 1965. Fauna och Flora, 6, 225–254. In Swedish, English summary (Nest box studies at Ammarnäs in 1965 )Google Scholar
  4. Lighthill, M. J. 1973 On the Weis-Fogh mechanism of lift generation. J. fluid Me ch. 60, 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Nachtigall, W. and Kempf, B. 1971 Vergleichende Untersuchungen zur flugbiologischen Funktion des Daumenfittichs (Alula spuria) bei Vögeln. Z. vergl. Physiol. 71, 326–341.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Norberg, U. M. 1970 Hovering flight of Plecotus auritus Linnaeus. Proc. 2nd Int. Bat Res. Conf., 62–66.Google Scholar
  7. Pennycuick, C. J. 1969 The mechanics of bird migration. Ibis, 111, 525–556.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Weis-Fogh, T. 1973 Quick estimates of flight fitness in hovering animals, including novel mechanisms for lift production. J. Exp. Biol. 59, 169–230.Google Scholar
  9. Zimmer, K. 1943 Der Flug des Nektarvogels (Cinnyris. J. Orn. Lpz. 91, 371–387.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. M. Norberg
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GöteborgGöteborgSweden

Personalised recommendations