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By Roadrunner71
Does anyone know just how a bird senses a thermal? What sense do they use primarily to detect a Thermal. Because it is apparent to me that they have unreal abilities. I am very curious as to what senses that a Bird uses primarily to detect a Thermal. Because they obviously have Built-In Super Vario.

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By magentabluesky
The Paratympanic Organ (PTO) in the bird’s middle ear detects air pressure changes, discovered by Giovanni Vitali in 1911.
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By magentabluesky
Roadrunner wrote:
Guys: I remember reading a book about flying about 23 years ago. Well, in this book the author said: That we don't know how? But Birds can locate thermals with ease.

My Questions to you guys is: Do we now know just how say a Buzzard can locate a thermal?

Do they have a visual perception, that we human's do not have?

I just would like to know what say a hawk has in his bag of aerial equipment that we human's fail to have.

See Ya The Big Guy Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:15 am
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Sky_Walker wrote: !00 years ago Giovanni Vitali discovered the Paratympanic Organ in the inner ears of birds. It is now commonly known as the Vitali organ. The Vitali organ is sensitive to very small changes in barometric pressure so essentially birds have the sensor of a vario in their inner ear ....

http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/natu ... ense-organ Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:53 pm
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By miraclepieco
Raptors are renowned for their keen eyesight. I believe they also can actually see tiny particles of dust, insects, and other minute debris being carried aloft by thermals - just as we see another hang glider climbing and head for it.
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By TrikeTrash
Birds have an uncanny ability to keep their heads level plus their vision is about eight times greater than ours. This is all they need to "see" thermals indirectly using atmospheric distortion. To prove it to yourself, the next time on launch take a pair of 8X binoculars and slowly scan the horizon. For best results the binoculars should be on a tripod or resting against some non moving object. Shaky hands will spoil what you're tring to see. As you scan the horizon, take note that some areas of the horizon appear steady, (or more steady) while other areas are "wavy" or "boiling". It takes a little practice to see the atmospheric distortion but once you get dialed in, it becomes very obvious. The width of the distortion on the horizon is an indication of the size and/or distance of the thermal. Over time you can watch the distortion change and get wider as the thermal grows and then shrink in width as the thermal passes through.

By Roadrunner71
When it comes to sight in Humans. I remember reading that the Baseball Player Ted Williams was said to see the Stitching on ball that was crossing the Plate that was pitched to Him! Wow, what I would give for Eyesight such as Ted Williams.
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By lizzard
Dont forget their sense of smell ..we all know about that, especially over piggerys and the like .
Its is more subtle in other places but still a part of most thermals, more so early on .
Their hearing would just be asubsonic version of ours and who knows ? We could develop it if we did not have varios.
One advantage of prone flying is perspective shift looking down.
Birds would use all of these and some I suspect relate to inclination/declination of local mag field which if viewed in 3d show invisible mountains .

Its likely a navigation method.
I cant prove the last one but magnetometers are a hobby of mine so perhaps 6 magnetometers nose ,keel,kingpost ,wing tips and base tube ? Intergrated and averaged .Our alloy or carbon frames make this dooable .
Could be a new play ground for us nerdy types?
or just stick with a vario and experience ?
By TheFlyingFrog
What should be amazing to experience is the no-delay response of the Vitali organ, but nowadays we can also get some variometer with in-biult G-meter that are quite fast and responsive.
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