Sailing Flight of Birds

Abstract

COMING out from Queenstown on September 10 on her way toward Boston, the ss. Arabic was accompanied for some hours by a large flock of gulls. For the most part these birds were visibly working, flapping their wings, but occasionally a few would cease flapping and merely sail along for considerable distances, keeping up with the ship or even gaining upon it, sometimes descending, sometimes ascending, apparently at will, with no perceptible action of their wings except, now and then, a slight effort which seemed to be needed for preserving equilibrium, not for support or for propulsion. The wind was of such direction and velocity that the smoke from the ship's funnel went astern in a trail making an angle of, perhaps, 30° with the keel.

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