Vortex wakes generated by robins Erithacus rubecula during free flight in a wind tunnel

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The wakes of two individual robins were measured in digital particle image velocimetry (DPIV) experiments conducted in the Lund wind tunnel. Wake measurements were compared with each other, and with previous studies in the same facility. There was no significant individual variation in any of the measured quantities. Qualitatively, the wake structure and its gradual variation with flight speed were exactly as previously measured for the thrush nightingale. A procedure that accounts for the disparate sources of circulation spread over the complex wake structure nevertheless can account for the vertical momentum flux required to support the weight, and an example calculation is given for estimating drag from the components of horizontal momentum flux (whose net value is zero). The measured circulations of the largest structures in the wake can be predicted quite well by simple models, and expressions are given to predict these and other measurable quantities in future bird flight experiments.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Biological Sciences
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-276
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch