Why do some birds walk while others jump?

In general terms, the rule looks like this: lighter birds usually jump, heavier ones save power and do not take their whole body off the ground, leaving support on one paw. A classic example is tits and finches. They are small and usually move irregularly. But there is, for example, such a bird as a wagtail. In size, it is comparable to a tit, but it walks on the ground, rather than jumping. It affects the difference in lifestyle.

Tits usually spend a lot of time on trees, and jumping is the most effective way to move from branch to branch. The wagtail feeds, running on the ground and chasing tasty insects. That's why jumping is unusual for her. If we turn to corvids (rooks, jackdaws, crows, etc.), then these larger birds usually move in steps. But magpies and jays belonging to the same family are jumping. It affects the fact that they still spend more time on the branches than the rest of their relatives.

The article “Questions and Answers” ​​was published in the journal Popular Mechanics (No. 12, December 2018).


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