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How do birds change direction in flight?


To change their direction in flight, birds must be able to control roll, pitch and yaw, just like an airplane!


Birds are built to fly so they adjust different body parts to control their flight. To control roll, the side-to-side motion, birds adjust their wingtips to create more lift on one wing than the other. To control pitch, the up-down-motion, birds change the angle their wings make with the air flow. To pitch up, a bird’s wings make an upward angle with the air; to pitch down, a bird’s wings make a downward angle with the air. Finally, to control yaw, the left-and-right motion, birds twist their wing tips left or right, depending on the desired direction.