How High Can Birds Fly? (Examples)

Have you ever wondered how high birds can actually fly? We’ll talk about a bird’s capacity to fly in this essay, but primarily at how high it may go. We’ll provide you with several fascinating facts and examples of how high various species fly.

Let’s have a look!


From a few inches (or centimeters) above the earth’s surface to over 30,000 feet, birds are capable of literally flying. When a Ruppell’s vulture collided with an aircraft at that height in 1974, it attained the highest point a bird has reached that was measured.

Barn swifts, on the other hand, may simply swoop and fly approximately 4 inches (10 cms) above the ground in order to discover insects. When a little bird is seeking for food, it can fly only a few inches above the ground, like the nuthatch.


Birds don’t seem to like flying for the fun of it, but they do like flitting and flying. Birds may fly for a variety of reasons, such as to go from one location to the next, catch prey, or flee danger.

Moving from the nest to a tree nearby or flying across half of the world may be as easy as it gets, or as difficult. Several bird species, including some that must fly to capture prey, catch it on the wing. Birds will always try to flee danger by flying away, whether they are threatened or not.

For various reasons, different birds fly at various heights. To search for prey, a falcon, for example, must fly high and scan a large expanse of land. Before attempting to eat more food, a dove will only fly a short distance to digest its meal.


Birds seem to fly up into the air with just a few flapings of their wings, and they ride around for the rest of their lives. If you look at it closely, flying is really a complex occurrence. We could all go flying around if it wasn’t for you!

Birds seem to just raise into the air after flapping their wings a few times, then they simply fly along. If you think about it, flying is a really difficult thing to do. So, unless there’s a problem, we could all fly around?

The bird flaps its wings, generating pressure against the air that is forced downwards, causing the birds to rise. This is the fundamental principle of flight. Lift is what it’s called.

A bird would become exhausted and be unable to fly any distance if it had to flap its wings at the same pace and pressure for every minute of every flight.

Certain birds are built to flap their wings a lot. Hummingbirds can flap their wings up to 90 times per second. Birds of prey, for example, can fly for long periods without much flapping.


Because they are seeking for food or traveling long distances, some birds are able to fly higher than the rest of the birds.


Ruppell’s vulture, which can reach heights of up to 37,000 feet (11,300 meters), is the king of the high flyers in the bird world. These birds utilise their enormous wingspan to catch thermals and spend hours gliding on high, searching out carrion to feed on, just like other vulture relatives do.


The common crane, which can fly up to 33,000 feet (10,000 meters), is the high flyers’ apparent successor. Since they are migrating birds, common cranes must fly high enough to take advantage of the thinner air and avoid terrestrial obstacles like the Rocky Mountains, which they must do twice a year.


The Bar-headed goose, which can fly up to 29,000 feet (9,000 meters), is the high flyer stakes second runner-up. They must be able to fly above Mount Everest, which is in their natural Central Asia, and they are also migratory birds.


The Whooper swan is a migratory bird that travels throughout Europe and Asia throughout the year, using lower pressures at great heights, according to radar, which recorded a flock flying over Northern Ireland at a height of 27,000 feet (8,200 meters).


The accolades aren’t always given to the strongest and most courageous. The Alpine Chough, which is native to Asia and evolved to fly in the middle of very high mountains, is one of the highest-flying birds. They are renowned for their superb flying abilities, and they can fly up to 26,500 feet (8,000 meters).


During migrations, hummingbirds commonly fly 500-600 miles without stopping at heights of 500 feet above sea level. They spend the majority of their time hovering around flowers once they reach their destinations. To reach the height they need to feed, they only need a little pressure on the air below their wings.

During migration, Canada geese, on the other hand, may fly up to 8000 feet in altitude. That’s a height of more than 1.5 kilometers.

Let’s look at a couple more examples.


The wings of a vulture are heavy to flap because they have a wingspan almost three times the length of the body. As a result, during their lengthy flights, they don’t need their wings much. In reality, with just a little flapping, a vulture may fly for up to six hours. By riding on the wind, they are able to achieve this.

Air isn’t just made up of particles. Thermals are regions with varying pressures and currents that flow between them. Vultures, for example, can fly a long distance since they literally float on the thermals rather than flap their wings.


Birds that migrate over long distances will get exhausted very quickly if they flap all the time, but they need to cover long distances, unlike the birds of prey that circle around looking for prey. This is why birds fly so high when they migrate so that they are pushing on less dense air, which takes less effort and doesn’t tire them so much.


Since we are not designed for flight like birds are, any height they may attain is high for us. Since they have to seek for food, travel long distances, or simply live up in the heights, certain birds are capable of flying at tremendous altitudes. There are other bird species that come in a very close second to Ruppell’s vulture when it comes to the highest flyer.

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