It's amazing that birds are so graceful in flying. Consider the 'simple' act of landing. This cattle egret at Audubon Park in New Orleans does and amazing set of controls as he gets ready to snatch a limb in flight. He drops he legs from the straight back position and slowly moves them forward to check his last bits of motion.
He curves his wings around to pick up more lift as he slows by also using the wings as air breaks, including an forward flap or two if necessary because he is coming in to fast.
He fixes his eye on his target. At the last second, the goal is to glide up to the limb with little forward motion left and settle on to it.