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  • Post last modified:August 21, 2023
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Do Birds Get Tired Of Flying? (When Do They Sleep?)

Often we look up at a crow, or rather a group of pigeons swarming somewhere together high above our heads in the sky, wondering where they are headed and feeling tired of them as we watch them there in the sky. 

And yet, there they are, 500 feet above the ground, causally going by. Some can even go up to 10,000 feet and even higher, so much that all we can see is a small dot moving swiftly from one corner to the other corner of the sky. 

But do birds get tired of flying? If so, what do they do about it, and if not, why?

This is the question we are going to see today. In other words, today’s article is for those who keep looking up at the non-stop activity of these species called birds and asking themselves.

Do birds get tired of flying?

In the sky, an eagle soars high.

Do birds get tired of flying.
Do birds get tired of flying?

Curious and can’t wait to know, can you? So, what do you think the answer is?

Well, for all those who have been watching these winged creatures with a sympathetic eye, worry not anymore, for the answer is no. 

Birds do not get tired of flying. On the contrary, despite their small size, birds are high-energy beings, and birds love flying. 

After all, how else can these tiny beings enjoy life if not with their wings that take them up there to enjoy a vantage point, and if they can’t have all this fun in the sky?

So, there, you got your answer. 

Why Do Birds Not Get Tired Of Flying?

Still can’t stop being curious, can you? So now the next thing on your mind is how the above is possible and how birds can not get tired of flying. 

Sitting in a plane doing nothing but watching a movie for an hour, we come back complaining of having spent a day in the sky, and there these little creatures go, being at home in the sky. 

How is that so? Of course, there is the fact that they prepare extensively, just like athletes do before a race, but if there is any such thing as preparing for weeks and even months of flight, a bird can do it all right, even catching its food in mid-air in between their flight!

Interesting right? 

And then, there is the fact that birds have a body that is designed for flying. You see, ask a bird to remain perched on a tree for more than a while, and he is not going to like it.

But on the contrary, it can spend hours and days and weeks and months in flight. Now, do you see why keeping them caged inside can be so unfair? 

Now, read on to know some more answers to the question, “why do birds not get tired of flying.” 

Must Read: What Is The Slowest Bird?

Energy Expenditure

This photo of a White Flying bird was taken from a perspective below.

Unlike humans, birds know how to manage their energy, being economical with the number of times they beat their wings and put up a resistance in the air. 

If you have watched a bird in the sky, you will notice that they hardly flap their wings, whereas watching a play with a character playing the role of a bird in the sky, you would find him constantly flapping his wings, assuming that this is what birds do up there in the sky.

At least, I remember doing that as a kid when we would pretend to be birds flying in the sky. 

No, they don’t, for they save their energy and are wise. Watch a bird flying the next time!

And this is why we find them soaring through long distances without using a muscle unnecessarily, saving it all the while. 

Now we can’t do that, saving on the muscle energy of our legs when we are out on a marathon, can we? 

Pneumatized bones

Okay, one thing that birds have that lets them go on and on, unlike us, is their hollow bones, which are pneumatized. But don’t be mistaken; these bones can be as heavy as that of any animal out there.

But the point is that since they are hollow, they come filled with air. 

In other words, birds have an aerodynamic body that supports their long flights, unlike us humans with bones that can feel heavy and tired after a walk of short distance. 

But don’t be upset when you get tired after a run and yet see that crow taking circles and circles in the sky. 

When a bird breathes, the air in its lungs extends all through its bones, giving them the kind of air resistance needed for those long hours of flight. 

You have different gifts to be glad for, don’t you?

Do Birds Ever Get Tired Of Flying? When do they sleep?

Birds do get tired when flying. And this is why there are many sleepovers stops in the world that birds often visit to rest awhile. 

Now, you didn’t know that, did you? So, the next time you admire them at a bird-watching site, understand what they are there for and do not do anything to disturb them, for they need their little rest before their next flight. 

However, there are a lot of them that, just like us humans who work hours day and night, some of them too can tend to over-exhaust themselves, as a result of which they could hit a dangerous object that went unnoticed by them in the sky. 

And yet, some birds can be up there for as many as ten months in the sky. Some mate even while up there in the sky.

Fun fact: Many birds have the ability to nap while in flight, known as unihemispheric slow-wave sleep, which allows them to rest one half of their brain while the other half remains alert and able to respond to potential threats.

Is there a reason why birds fly so long?

Close-up shot of a group of birds flying in the air.

You see, at the end of the day, birds don’t fly for enjoyment. Of course, that is what you were thinking. 

Had we humans been given a pair of wings, we would simply glide up there for the mere pleasure of it. 

Birds, on the other hand, need their wings for various reasons. 

1. Birds Fly To Migrate

For one, they need to migrate according to the different seasons to be in comfortable climates.

You see, unlike us, they can’t sit in air-conditioned rooms or sweaters and are thus left with the option to leave for better weather. 

If we humans were to do that, we would perhaps book a plane. Birds can’t and hence are gifted with the ability to fly long distances instead. 

2. Birds Fly To Eat

And then, there is the fact that they need the vantage point, so they know where to get their food from, for unlike us, they don’t have markets and street vendors gathering things for them. 

And unlike dogs, they don’t come with sharp ears or a sharp sense of smell but rely entirely on their vision to find something to eat. 

So, let them fly, can you?

Recommended Reading: Can Birds Fly With Wet Wings?

3. Birds Fly To Protect Themselves

And since they’re so small and fragile, they also need their strong wings to save themselves from predators, don’t they? Unlike us, they can’t attack the creature coming for them with a weapon they find. 

What they can do instead is glide high above, so high that they are finally safe from the tiger that spotted them but fortunately can’t fly so high. 

That reminds me of a fact. I don’t think there’s any tiger or other wild creature that has ever tasted a bird.

Have you? 

4. Birds Fly For Leisure

And then, finally, there is also the fact that they do want to have fun, for unlike us, they don’t have theaters and golf clubs to spend their mornings and evenings, and perhaps their only pleasure is swarming in groups up there in the sky. 

Let them. Why would you want to stay jealous of seeing them fly? 

Final Thoughts: Do Birds Get Tired Of Flying?

The answer to the question “do birds get tired of flying” is no; birds do not get tired of flying. In fact, they likely enjoy it. The act of flying is a source of pleasure and joy for birds. This is evidenced by the way they fly and how they react when they are in the air.

Here are some key points from this article to keep in mind:

  • Birds can get tired from flying, but they usually take short breaks to rest.
  • Flying is a natural behavior for birds, and they enjoy it.
  • Birds use their wings to fly in different ways that help them conserve energy.
  • Birds can also sleep while flying.
  • There are some dangers of flying, but the benefits outweigh the risks.
  • Overall, birds love to fly, and it’s an important part of their lives.

FAQs: Check out these interesting questions!

Q1. How long can birds fly for without getting tired?

Ans: The duration of bird flight depends on several factors, including type of bird and weather. Some birds can fly for hours, while others can only fly for a few minutes before taking a break.

Q2. Do birds need to rest from flying?

Ans: Birds need to rest while they are not flying, they spend a significant amount of time perching on trees or power lines to conserve energy and avoid predators, it’s essential for their health and safety.

Q3. What do birds do when they get tired?

Ans: Birds rest in safe places, perch on branches or ledges, ruffle feathers to stay warm, and lower their head to conserve energy. They may doze off but are always alert for predators.

Q4. Can a bird stay in the air without moving?

Ans: Hovering flight is a skillful and energy-intensive activity that allows birds to stay in the air for long periods without flapping. Most birds can’t sustain it for long, but species like kestrels and urban pigeons have mastered it.

Q5. What birds can sleep while flying?

Ans: Frigate birds are known for being able to sleep on the wing, using a technique called Unihemispheric slow-wave sleep, which allows them to keep one half of their brain awake while the other half is asleep, allowing them to fly and rest at the same time.


Hey there, pet lovers! I'm Pratik, a lifelong animal lover, and pet care expert. My passion for animals began at a young age and has only grown stronger over the years. Through my blog, I hope to share my knowledge and expertise with other pet owners and provide them with valuable information on pets.