Have you ever before noticed that when birds floor on a branch, they usually fly in in ~ a short level and swoop up to the branch?

If they didn"t do that, castle would have to absorb every the power of their flight with your legs (and solid wing action). Yet by paris upward, your kinetic energy of movement is convert to potential energy of boosted height, so they sluggish down prior to landing, just as a rolling round slows down once it goes uphill. Let"s see just how that works.

You are watching: What type of energy is a flying bird

Kinetic Energy

Kinetic energy is energy due to motion, and also is represented by Ek. For the bird moving in a straight line, the kinetic power is one-half the product of the mass and the square of the speed:

< large E_k = dfrac12mu^2 label1>


m = mass of the object

u = rate of object

Example (PageIndex1): Kinetic energy of a outright Eagle

Calculate the kinetic energy of a 6.8 kg (15 lb, about the biggest) outright eagle which is paris at 13.9 m s–1 (about 30 miles every hour or 50 kilometer/hour; their height speed) <1>.


(large E_k = dfrac12 m u^2 = dfrac12 imes 6.8 ext kg imes ( 13.9 ext m ext s^-1 )^2 = 657 ext kg ext m^2 ext s^-2)

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Potential Energy

Potential Energy is energy that is stored by rising in elevation (in the instance of birds landing), or by other means. The frequently originates from separating things that attract, favor rising birds room being separated indigenous the planet that attacts them, or through pulling magnets apart, or pulling an electrostatically charged balloon native an oppositely charged object to i m sorry it has clung. Potential power is abbreviated EP and also gravitational potential energy is calculated as follows:


m = fixed of the thing in kg

g = gravitational constant, 9.8 m s2

h = elevation in m

Notice that EP has actually the same units, kg m2 s–2 or Joule together kinetic energy.

Example (PageIndex2): elevation of an Eagle"s Flight

How high would certainly the eagle paris at 30 mph should rise to pertained to a complete stop, if no one of the stopping power come from wings?

Solution: The eagle"s kinetic power is 657 J (from example 1), so all of this would have to be converted to EP. Climate we could calculate the height:

(large E_P = mgh = 657 ext kg ext m^2 ext s^-2 = 6.8 ext kg imes 9.8 extm ext s^-2 imes h )