why do birds circle in the sky

Have you ever wondered why do birds circle in the sky? You have probably seen birds circle in the sky but don’t know why.

I have critically considered several reasons why birds circle in the sky, and I will show you the reasons right away based on my research and experience.

Most of the time, birds circle in the sky because of the warm weather. This is the time thermal energy expands causing the weather to be hot in the sky. This condition assists in lifting the bird and lowering its energy level while in flight.

Let’s now go over the reasons in greater detail.

How Do Birds Achieve Flight?

bird flight

Birds achieve flight because they have wings.

Wings are specially adapted appendages that enable birds to generate lift, which is the force that opposes gravity and allows them to fly.

A bird’s ability to fly is dependent on the shape of its wings. The tops of the wings are curved, and the bottoms are flat.

The flat bottom of the wing acts as a stable surface against which the bird can push, allowing air to flow more smoothly over the top of the wing.

Air is forced downward and backward as the bird flaps its wings. This produces an upward force on the bird known as “lift”, which opposes gravity and enables the bird to fly.

Birds must be able to maintain a balance between lift and drag to fly for long periods. 

Lift is the force that acts in opposition to gravity, whereas drag is the force created by air resistance. 

Note: Birds use their tail feathers to help them control their flight and move from one location to the next.

Why Do Birds Circle In The Sky?

why birds circle in sky

When I was researching the reasons why birds circle in the sky, I wondered how they could fly so easily in circles.

Let me show you these reasons, based on my thorough research.

Reason #1: Using Thermal

Birds circle the sky in search of heat. This thermal happens during the heat and allows the bird to fly for a long distance without flapping its wings. 

Vultures, for example, are well-known for their use of rising air currents to stay aloft.

Vultures will tilt their wings and bodies upward into the wind to catch updrafts. Vultures can soar for hours without eating.

Vultures that circle in groups often use thermals to stay aloft. Flying in a circle allows each bird to benefit from the rising air while remaining close to the rest of the flock. 

Vultures and other large birds of prey, such as eagles and hawks, are known to engage in this behavior.

Soaring is an efficient mode of transportation that allows birds to save energy. Birds can stay aloft for long periods by using thermal updrafts.

bird soaring

Birds circle in the sky to stay cool. When it is hot outside, birds will fly in circles to create a cooling effect.

The wind created by the bird’s wings will help to cool the bird’s body temperature.

Note: Birds enjoy using warm air that can lift them upward.

Reason #2: Before A Storm

When a storm is approaching, birds may fly in a large, tight circle high in the sky. This type of behavior is known as “kettling.” 

Kettling, according to scientists, may help birds stay warm and dry in the face of high winds and driving rain. 

Birds fly in a circle before settling down in a safe area before a storm attacks. A bird must seek out a haven before the storm begins.

Reason #3: Look For Food

A large flock of birds flew in a circle in the sky as the sunset.

birds looking for food

They were looking for food and would soon be on their way to their nightly roosts. But first, they needed to eat.

The birds were mostly small songbirds, with a few larger birds like crows and hawks mixed in. They flew in a large circle, descending lower and lower.

Occasionally, one of the birds would notice something on the ground and leave the group to investigate.

If it was something edible, the bird would quickly grab it and fly back to the group to share it with them. If not, the bird will return to the circle and continue its search. 

This continued for quite some time until it was nearly completely dark. When the birds had had enough to eat, they all left the circle and went to their roost.

Reason #4: They Are Playing

Birds may circle in the sky while playing. They could be chasing or playing tag with each other.

Whatever the reason, watching birds fly around in circles is always entertaining. 

birds playing around

Seeing a flock of birds flying in formation is something special. It serves as a reminder that we are all connected, and that strength comes from numbers. 

When we see birds flying in a circle, it serves as a reminder that we are all connected, and that strength comes from numbers.

It serves as a reminder that we are all connected, and that strength comes from numbers.

Birds that circle in the sky are usually attempting to impress other birds.

When a bird is attempting to attract a mate, it will frequently fly in circles to display its flying abilities.

To attract the attention of other birds, the bird may also make loud calls.

Reason #5: Baffle The Predator

If you have ever seen a flock of birds circling in the sky, they might have appeared to be flying aimlessly.

But there’s a reason for this behavior. A bird circle is used to deceive predators.

bird flock

When a predator is spotted, the flock’s birds all fly in the same direction, forming a circle. 

This makes it difficult for the predator to focus on one bird in particular.

The bird’s circle is also used to warn other birds in the area that a predator is nearby.

Note: Remember that the next time you see a bird circle, it's not just for show. It's an ingenious way for birds to avoid predators.

Reason #6: Navigate

Birds use the sky in various ways to navigate. Some birds use the position of the sun, while others use the stars.

Some birds have a specialized region of their brain that allows them to detect the earth’s magnetic field.

A “bird circle” is one of the most fascinating ways that birds navigate.

This is when a flock of birds forms a large circle and flies together. They take turns flying and leading the way. 

The bird in front will always fly in the direction of the destination, while the others will trail behind.

migratory birds

Many different kinds of birds, including migratory birds, use this method.

The bird’s circle is thought to assist the birds in remaining together as a group and ensuring that everyone arrives safely at their destination.

Note: Remember this amazing navigation technique the next time you see a group of birds flying in a circle.

What Type Of Bird Flies In The Circle?

Small songbirds to large raptors all fly in circles. Some birds use circular flight patterns to gain altitude, while others use them to hunt prey. 

Other birds may circle to avoid predators or to demonstrate their aerial prowess.

Vultures, for example, use their keen vision to spot potential prey from a great height.

Then they use their powerful wings to glide in circles until they are close enough to dive down and snatch their prey. 

eagle flying

Hawks, eagles, and kites are examples of other birds that fly in circles.

These birds hunt similarly to vultures, but they are also known to put on aerial displays in which they soar and circle in the sky for hours at a time.

Note: Whatever the reason, seeing a bird soaring in a circle high above the ground is always a spectacular sight.

What Are The Benefits Of Bird Flight?

Bird flight has numerous advantages, including the ability to travel long distances, migrate, and find food and mates.

The flight also allows birds to flee predators and reach previously inaccessible areas. 

Furthermore, flying gives birds a lot of exercise, which keeps them fit and healthy.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Birds Circling In The Sky?

disadvantages of birds circling

Birds circling in the sky have a few drawbacks. First, keeping the birds in sync while flying in formation can be difficult. 

Second, if one of the birds becomes tired or distracted, the entire formation may collapse. 

Finally, flying in formation requires a significant amount of energy and can be dangerous if the birds are not careful.


It has been explained why birds circle in the sky. We all enjoy seeing birds flying in circles, but we should be aware of what attracts them. 

One reason is that birds circle the sky to keep warm. Another one is that they are in search of food or are playing. 

You may also wonder, “why do birds fly in circles at sunsets?”

This is because they share information about feeding locations discovered during the day before returning to their home.

With the little knowledge I have passed on to you, you should be able to give a clear answer the next time you are asked, “why do birds circle in the sky?