Please see the previous blog for more information regarding the Trumpeter Swan sculpture.
The focus of this blog post is bird anatomy. An in-depth discussion about the anatomy of birds, flight, and wing
structure can be found by visiting blogposts #403, posted
March 10, 2013 and all posts thereafter through blog # 438, posted June 26, 2013. The 36 posts are a wealth of
information regarding birds and provides insight into bird anatomy, feather groupings, aerodynamics, and more.
Te best way to access all 36 posts is to go to the link below then click on older posts after each blog.
A bird's wing can be compared to the human arm as shown below, but is modified for flying.
Unlike humans, the wrist joint automatically bends when the elbow joint is bent
and the wrist joint straightens when the elbow joint is straightened.
Below, much can be learned about how the wing joints articulate by moving
and manipulating a supermarket chicken's wing back and forth and up and down.
The photo below is looking down on the bird . . . the upper surface of the wing.
Note, the bird's elbow . . . this is the thickest part of the wing.
Compare the photo below with the drawing above.
The flap of skin between the wrist and the inboard end of the humerus area
prevents the wing from straightening out - thus tiring - the bird in flight.
This tendon supports the leading edge of the wing and is connected to the pectoral muscle.
The 10 primary flight feathers are attached to the bird's "hand".
The bird artist must understand bird anatomy, wing structure, and feather groups.
The creature is covered with feathers but the artist must know what is
going on underneath all the feathers in order to breath life into the art.
The sculptor must assist the viewer in understanding bird locomotion
by understanding how the joints articulate.
The drawing below illustrates the bones, muscles, and flight feathers of a bird's wing.
Below, is an image of a recently completed sculpture depicting a Trumpeter Swan.
Also shown, are drawings and photographs that were helpful in actualizing the work.
The drawing below is the underside of the bird's wing.
Note the tendon between the pectoral muscle and the wrist . . .
it supports the leading edge of the wing.
Below, note the bulge below the swans's neck . . . this is the crop and NOT the pectoral muscles.
Always locate the pectorals between the bird's wings for they are the engine that drives the wings.
Below is a drawing of a bird's pectoral girdle showing the wing attachment to the coracoid . . .
notice the clavicle or "wishbone" in front of the "keel" or sternum.
To learn more about the subjects go to the links below.
For a complete list of the blog index go to the Index Page and
type the subject in the Search This Blog link on the upper right.
Blog, text, photos, drawings, and sculpture . . . © Sandy Scott and Trish