Sandhill Crane, © Photo by Steve Kaye

Wing Flaps and the Meaning of Flight

Why Wing Flaps Matter


Sandhill Crane, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in blog about Wing Flaps and the Meaning of Flight

Sandhill Cranes, Discussing Wing Flaps


A conversation about wing flaps and the meaning of flight

Sometimes Sandhill Cranes take a break from their busy day of foraging to discuss philosophical matters.

Here, for example, is a conversation between a younger (in green) and a more senior (in blue) crane.

“How did I get here?” the younger bird asked.

“You flew,” the senior bird replied.

“So why am I here and not somewhere else?”

“You made a series of wing flaps that brought you here. If you had changed even one of them, you would have landed somewhere else.”

“I never thought a single wing flap could be so important.”

“It is. Each wing flap is a choice that determines where you land.”

“But what about wind.”

“Everybody encounters wind.”

“I suppose they do.”

“And where you land will depend upon how you choose to fly through wind.”

“Are you telling me that I control where I fly?”

“Yes. Because the sum of your wing flaps determines where you are at the end of your flight.”


Sandhill Crane, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in blog about Wing Flaps and the Meaning of Flight

Sandhill Cranes, Preparing to Land


Much success,

Steve Kaye

PS: There’s a photo of a Sandhill Crane on the Home Page for my web site.


Help Birds Tip

Keep Bird (Seed) Feeders Clean

Why: A dirty bird feeder can spread diseases such as avian pox. Then one infected bird can spread this illness to an entire flock.

How: Clean bird feeders at least once per month.


Birding Resources

Sandhill Cranes migrate south to spend the winter in areas that contain wetlands. Then they spend the night standing in this shallow water, which hinders predators from sneaking up on them.

One excellent place to see Sandhill Cranes is: Bosque del Apache, which is about 95 miles south of Albuquerque, NM. Add your support by helping The Friends of The Bosque del Apache.


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5 Comments
  • George Nash
    Posted at 19:15h, 13 September

    Easier to find the cranes in area 1 of Salton Sea refuge during January. San. Bernardino Audobon has found them every year during its annual goose and crane field trip.

  • Steve Kaye
    Posted at 20:40h, 13 September

    Thank you for this tip. The Salton Sea is an important bird area in California.

  • Delta Tanimoto
    Posted at 09:28h, 14 September

    Those are beautiful birds!

    Great message. We’re all flying into the wind and getting there one flap at a time.

  • Lynette M. Smith
    Posted at 16:04h, 15 September

    Indeed–an important life lesson. Thanks!

  • Bob Franz
    Posted at 06:52h, 16 September

    Flaps down, ready to land!

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