(CNN) — Who among us hasn't fantasized about flying like a bird? We've created hot air balloons, planes and spacecraft to replicate what birds can already do naturally.
CNN recently invited readers to share their best photos of birds in action. The National Audubon Society helped identify the bird species in the above gallery.
CNN's Nick Glass meets a Stanford University professor who has been studying birds using motion capture cameras
Filmmaker John Downer describes attaching cameras to various birds for Discovery Channel's documentary Winged Planet.
"Their ability to fly is a work of art in itself," said birdwatcher Michele Hancock, who is always on the lookout for unusual avian species to photograph. Doug Whidby enjoys photographing birds near his home in Langley, Washington, and says they are the perfect subjects. "Their ability to fly is always a point of curiosity, and the details in their markings are stunning if you can capture them."
Scroll through the gallery and imagine yourself soaring through the sky. And yes, we know not all of these birds are flying, but they are too beautiful not to share.