Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus)
Hertfordshire, England, 1981

The ragged condition of this blue tit's feathers did not appear to affect its flying ability.

It was photographed as it approached a landing perch. The wing and tail feathers are angled to provide braking as well as lift, and the alulae or 'bastard wings' are extended to prevent a stall.

Blue Tit