So, Does "the bird is landing on the tree" mean the bird is on its way moving down and standing on the tree?

Because a bird's legs have no knees. So,

Does "the bird is standing on the tree" mean the bird is standing on its legs but its tail does not touch or rest on a ground?

Does "the bird is sitting on the ground" mean the bird is standing on its legs but its tail touches or rests on a ground?

  • Birds have knees, but their actual knees are higher up, so the joint in the middle of their leg is actually an ankle and bends the other way to human knees.
    – James K
    Dec 24, 2020 at 1:34

1 Answer 1


It is sitting if its legs are folded so its weight is supported directly by its body. It is standing if its weight is supported by its legs. The same as for humans.

But the word you really should use is "perching" which means standing on a branch (or similar) and gripping it with its feet. It is particularly used when talking about birds. Also "roosting" for sleeping and "nesting" for using a nest to lay eggs.

"Is landing" suggests that the bird is in the process of ending its flight.

Two pigeons flew by. One landed in that tree. You can see it perching on a branch. The other flew down to the ground. It stood and looked about but now it just seems to be sitting there below the tree.

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