Did you know birds have an arm-wing and a hand-wing? You can see it well on Puffins when they fold their wings in two to store them near their body. Their wings collapse for easy storage.
And did you know that where a bird’s arm and hand meet is a little feathered thumb? It’s called the alula and is a bone and a few feathers (between two and six).
Puffins have an alula. It seems to be used to help control landing by delaying stalling when the wings are at a high angle of attack.
I’d like to photograph a Puffin in flight with it’s alulae out. Here?
No. Here then?
I know it’s there. But I can’t see it.
Maybe they need to be doing some aerial acrobatics for them to put their alulae out.
I wonder whether they actively use them (by sticking their thumbs up) or whether it’s just passive and sticks out on its own when they tilt their wings against their direction of travel.
Wait for it… there they are!
It’s a double thumbs-up for Puffins being so incredible, yet again.