Birds seem to have a natural affinity for high vantage points, including power wires, the tops of trees, and the sides and tops of buildings.

However I presume the top of the Burj Khalifa is not packed with birds, flyover video of cities full of skyscrapers suggest this would not be the case.

Q: Therefore, is there a cap, if so at what height, where higher is no longer better? Perhaps the birds vantage point is reduced by going higher.

Related, but I feel different: Why do crows sit on treetops even when it is cold?


closed as too broad by rg255, AliceD, AMR, kmm, WYSIWYG Feb 8 '16 at 5:42

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    $\begingroup$ Not all birds do this. For instance, the quail I can see outside my window right now like to stay on the ground, and hide in tall grass. Ducks and geese seldom land anywhere but water or flat ground. Hawks & eagles may perch/nest on the sides of cliffs or steep slopes (and I've encountered them flying several thousand feet AGL). As mesam22 says, it's all about evolutionary niches. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Feb 6 '16 at 18:42

Birds find their niches based on many reasons. Their choice is based on primarily resource availability, predation risk, and competition. Keep in mind there are variations among species, most birds like to forage for food at a hight safe enough to avoid ground predation, at the same time to be able to see and find food without much competition. Therefore very high altitudes do not seem beneficial for food resources and its a cost in energy, thus reasonable altitudes are preferred. But again many variations depending on species and location.


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