An invitation to take flight like a bird is displayed at 40% of viewport width.
August 2020 by Terry Verduin


Now, they'd fly to a distant place,
where Dolly's roots just might be traced.
The trio heard the engines roar.
Into the sky, their plane would soar.

By winging it together we all can wing our way to earn our wings like Dolly the Parrot and her friend Little Ray.

Chains of Command?

New Look? Unprepared, we may do our best by “winging it”. Someone may be “waiting in the wings” to steal the show. Birds may hang upside down to relax, play or wait. They don't sleep with heads hidden under their wings.

To Shift? Birds force offspring to leave the nest. In The Amazing Flight of Little Ray, a bird assists a young stingray with dreams of flying. As shown in the video below, flight gives independence, but presents new challenges.

Showstopper? Rays have no natural ability for air travel. Some things go better if we “wing our way” under someone's wings”. When Little Ray arrives “on a wing and a prayer”, Mama Ray might want to “clip his wings”.

Reverie Day? Until Dolly has her own flying video, she shares The Amazing Flight of Little Ray. Fish do exit water. Much like fish flap fins to swim, water birds perform fish-like movements in the water element.

How to Earn our Wings?

Contemplate Life Ride? Birds encourage their babies to go greater distances with each failing leap. To not discourage his goals, Mama Ray “gives wing” to her son's idea to fly. He hopes to soars like a bird, not with one.

Rainbow Bright? Birds preen their feathers, including those on their wings. Little Ray seems to have “wing-envy”. Why else would he try to fly like a bird? Stingrays have featherless fins with a wing-like appearance.

Blown Away? Feathers generate lift and glide. Most birds circle on updrafts. Hummingbirds can fly up, down, sideways, upright and upside down. Tail feathers support some birds as they walk up and down trees in search of food.

All Seasons? Birds cannot take to the sky without feathers. There is more to a Fine Feather than fashionable appearance. Remiges, or flight feathers, cover avian wings and tails. Birds are in control of both wings and feathers.

Stepping It Up?

Maximum Impact? Different birds have real wings of different shapes for different needs. Not all species require air takeoff, speed, gliding or landing. Some birds use wings to swim and fly. Others just swim with their wings.

Top Things Off? Aquatic birds have oily, water-proof feathers for protection. To aid in spotting prey while hunting, some wading species spread their wings for visor-effect glare reduction. Others do this to dry off.

Avis? This Latin stem means “bird”. It forms part of compound words related to the art of flying (aviation) and to the breeding and raising of birds (aviculture). The car rental company, AVIS, initiated service at airports.

Winging It Together?

In the Bag? “Winging it” dates from ancient Greece. The tale of Icarus and Daedalus describes wing construction for escape. Should we tire of flapping and spinning efforts, a Martin Jet Pack can power hummingbird retreat.

Flock Together? Blackbirds, starlings, shorebirds, robins, flamingos, cranes and pigeons often form large flocks. Murmuration is the group name for a large number of birds in coordinated team flight.

Flight Calls? Migrating birds often vocalize while flying. In-flight sounds led to the flock name murmuration, which also defines low, continuous utterances. Sounds may encourage and orient participants in tight formation.

Safety in Numbers? Grouping together overwhelms predators. It hard to target one bird in a moving mass of hundreds or thousands. Their mobbing tactics also divert and harass predators. A few birds can draw many helpers.

Less is More?

Higher Path? Birds symbolize angels and heaven. They are good omens of spiritual connectedness. Sojourns with moving flocks foster advancements with goals, independence and peace. New ideas may surface.

Major League? Altitude offers a sense of safety and good views. Most birds build nests high in trees. People free-climb or use spikes, spurs, hooks, ladders and ropes for height in work, recreation, sport and living purposes.

Evolutionary Tool? Bikers and military planes move in V-formations, like some migrating birds. Aerodynamic drafting saves energy by reducing wind resistance for those at the rear. Taking turns at the lead exercises cooperation.

Perfect Form?

On Demand? Animals creatively use natural form to their advantage. Ostriches and penguins use their wings to improve running or swimming speed. Three-jointed, bird-wing-like arms aid human running and swimming.

Inside Knowledge? Humans experiment with wing forms for planes, helicopters and drones. Flying machines do important jobs. There's pride in flight. Parrot Bebop drones from Parrot SA can take pictures in the air.

Regifting? Human inventions often start with ideas from nature. “When pigs have wings”, we may be able to fly like birds. Although birds have not been seen in outer space, children have no ceilings for their dreams.


The Next Act? Entrepreneurs often follow nature to do new things and exceed old boundaries. They don't have the natural navigation skills of birds. Compasses and other equipment facilitate travel over long distances.

Shadows & Light? Fact/Myth gives people and stingrays hope. It tells about a bird that does what seems utterly impossible, while making it seem easy. See An albatross Can Fly Around the World Without Landing.

Watchlist? Little Ray's flight video is about soaring against all odds: The world helps those who try and try, to fly and fly. This transcript summarizes a dominant book theme. Illustrations also are from the story. (34 seconds)