When a pigeon flies, you can hear it sloppily slap its wings as it makes its way through the air. When a peregrine falcon flies, the flight is powerful and beautiful, but you can still hear the movement. When a barn owl flies? Complete silence. It’s amazing to see. BBC Earth set up microphones along the flight path of the birds to let us hear the difference.
It’s because the barn owl has such giant wings attached to such a small body. That allows it to gently flap its wing to glide along. A pigeon’s wing is much smaller, so it needs to furiously flap its wings to fly, while a falcon’s large wings are used powerfully to generate speed in order to catch prey.