taking flight

Taking Flight is a unique book that looks at which of our native creatures live life on the wing. Flying is a miracle and yet one that occurs each day above our heads. Birds fly, but so do butterflies, bats and many other creatures. From flapping their wings, gliding over head, hovering to dive for fish, starling murmurations to migrations, this book encounters 14 flying species.

Beginning with the first fluttering insect 300 million years ago through flying dinosaurs to hummingbirds that live alongside rainforest flowers, you’ll also meet dragonflies, albatrosses, pipistrelle bats and monarch butterflies. Meet these gravity-defying marvels!

Lev Parikian is a writer, birdwatcher and conductor who has been longlistedf or the Wainwright Prize. He lives in London. His most prized sightings are a golden oriole in the Alpujarras and a black redstart at Dungeness Power Station.

swifts (the birds that never stop flying!)

super swifts

Super Swifts tells the tale of  these birds who are small enough to fit in your hand (but don’t touch them) but can fly faster, higher and for longer than any other bird, often even ‘sleeping on the wing’ as they migrate to and from Africa. Learn more on how to help swifts, swallows and martins.

how exactly do birds manage to fly?

So here’s the science bit: Birds use their wings to fly, and their tails as steering wheels. Birds can close or spread their feathers to act as propellors and ornithologists say bird wings are even more complex than aeroplane wings. Depending on species, birds fly differently. Some just glide, and others have long narrow wings or others fly with short broad wings. Hummingbirds can even fly backwards!

how a small-winged dragonfly still flies

Sophia's flight

Sophia’s Flight is a beautiful children’s book about a dragonfly who was born with a smaller wing, but still learned to fly. With the help of a loving and creative mother, she will find a solution to allow her to enjoy each day. Sophia flies fast  in a story of parenting and motherhood in the insect world!

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