All birds – from the tiny hummingbird to the giant albatross – have the same basic feather groupings.


There are four basic wing shapes and all birds fall into a semblance of one of the four configurations.

The size and shape of wings give clues to how the bird lives:


1. Long and wide wings are used by soaring birds such as hawks, eagles, and ravens. A wing is considered long when it exceeds the length of the bird’s body.

2. Narrow and pointed wings are used by fast flying birds such as swallows, swifts, and many migratory birds such as ducks and geese.

3. Long and narrow wings are used by gliding birds such as albatrosses, gulls, fulmars, shearwaters, and terns.

4. Wide and rounded wings are used for short, fast and quick-escape flight birds such as grouse, pheasants, pigeons, and owls.

Here are a few diagrams that most of us know from our understanding of airplane wing aerodynamics.




Birds however have 10 times the flying capacity of H. sapiens and their artificial flying machines.

“That is  because we have feathers,” Harriet could not help but sardonically drool out the obvious.


“I will tell you more about feathers in a future post”, declared Harriett.  It’s a long story, beginning 65 million years ago when we Avian’s survived the catastrophic meteor strike that devastated and eliminated the terrible lizards that dominated planet Earth at the time. It’s also time to make a few comments regarding the genus Homo and the one and only surviving species of the Genus, Homo sapiens.    If you are reading this you are most likely a Homo sapien.  Do you have any reservations or guilt feelings about your rise to dominance?

“Tell the Doctor not to stress his brain tonight, trying to understand these ethereal concepts.

Tell him to go to bed.  Tell him to get a good night’s sleep.   Tell him to tell the Female H. sapien that lives with him that he loves her.  Tell him he does not have to Save the World and Life on Planet Earth as we know it tonight.

Thank you friends.

Love Harriett

About Harriett Raptor

Eight-year-old mother of five, fluent in telepathy, a possessor of genetic memory, a genius and scholar. Harriett holds the equivalent of a PhD in philosophy, biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and the Homo sapiens’ concept of the humanities. Her understanding of mathematics and logic are beyond Homo sapiens’ current comprehension. Harriett is a thinker, a wise osprey, especially distinguished for her expertise in the Homo sapiens problem.
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