Bird Kites We Have Seen

A Range Of Types, Shapes And Sizes!

Aren't bird kites great! I'll never forget heading off down the jetty at a local kite festival one day, and catching sight of a seagull swooping low amongst some of the nearest kites. For just a moment, I actually thought the pearly white bird with orange beak was a kite! The gull had wings outstretched and was not flapping at the time, which enhanced the illusion.

A bit of a trawl through our archives of kite festival photos yielded a surprising variety of designs which could be termed bird kites. Here's a few photos, with comments on each, regarding construction and flying characteristics.





Solid spars and a 3D Body

Isn't this one a real beauty! Walking up over a sand dune towards the jetty, this eye-catching bird kite came into view. It was flying low, but steady as anything and was tethered near the other side of the jetty.

Just couldn't resist pulling out the camera...

Bird kites don't come much better than this sparred 3D example...

If you look carefully near the tail, you can see some solid spars holding the shape. Could be dowel, since anything fancier would surely be a bit thinner. The body is 3D, with some sort of smooth shell covered in the sail material. You can also see dowel spars through the sail material of the wings.

A really nice touch is those wing-tip 'feathers'. In real life, these give eagles and hawks a performance boost by reducing drag forces. Thus the wing becomes more efficient.

Some reading on the topic of these kinds of kites gave me the impression they are not always successful fliers! You have to wonder what the history of the pictured kite was. How many prototypes were modified or scrapped before this one took off and really proved its airworthiness?





The 'Light-Wind Eagle'

Featuring fiber-glass spars and quite realistic artwork on the sail fabric.

A 'Light Wind Eagle' kite seen in Singapore.

On a trip to Singapore to meet with relatives there, I discovered that my brother-in-law Terry had bought this fine-looking kite. Near the end of our stay, we got a chance to go to a local flying spot and put the kite up. There it is in the photo, sharing the sky with numerous other kites of all descriptions.

Plenty of Bird kites and Deltas! In fact, up near the top left edge of the photo, I'm fairly sure the high-flying kite was another identical Light-Wind Eagle. Must be popular!

The photo isn't the greatest, but the printed design on the kite fabric is very realistic. Almost photo-realistic from a distance. The material would be either rip-stop nylon or perhaps polyester.

Construction was different to anything I had ever seen, with a long bowed fiber-glass rod holding the wings outstretched. In flight, this resulted in a kind of soggy feel, somewhat like many store-bought Deltas. In other words, any sudden increase in line tension would tend to get absorbed by the kite, before it wallowed upwards in response. More rigid kites tend to zip rather than wallow!

This eagle kite could be a little tricky low down, becoming more stable at higher line angles and of course in the smoother air up higher. But we had fun, in the very light, shifty winds on the coast of Singapore. Another characteristic worth mentioning... Above a certain wind-speed, this kite actually starts to flap quite realistically!





A Delta In Disguise - The Firebird

Now, if you have trawled around this site quite a bit over the years, you have probably bumped into this photo before...

A Firebird Delta we saw at a kite festival.

It's an example of a Delta kite dressed up as a bird kite. A bit fake near the nose, where it's just painted-on, but getting fancier along the trailing edge!

See how the flames dance in the wind, and the bird actually has a flaming tail too.

The Delta's sail is a light sky-blue. Trying to hide it against the sky I guess, to heighten the flaming-bird illusion! Or perhaps not, since clear plastic would do an even better job of that...

A really nice Delta kite if you ask me, with pretty standard construction. Floating leading-edge spars and rigid spreader.





Hilarious! The Owl Inflatable

This Owl Inflatable kite brings a touch of humor as it floats above the sand.

Funny or cute or something. Whatever it is, this kite is another eye-turner. It's quite a good size, but doesn't compare with the biggest of the kite-festival inflatable giants. Does it belong with the other bird kites on this page?

Well, owls are birds, so it seems logical enough to me! To take the analogy further, owls are very quiet in the air, as are most single-line kites. Alright, alright, moving on...

This kite looks good from a long distance because of the bold shapes and colors used in its construction. No spars of course, just cleverly designed openings on the upwind side to keep the shape inflated and generating a modest amount of lift to keep the kite off the sand.





Another Inflatable

Another Inflatable Owl Kite. Not quite as striking design-wise, in my humble opinion. But perhaps more visible due to the choice of Day-Glo Orange!

Another Owl Inflatable, quite large in size.

Not sure about this, but it might have been a lot bigger than the other Owl up there, too. That 4 Wheel Drive vehicle parked on the sand was there as an anchor for a truly enormous Dragon show kite!

That's it for Bird Kites. Hope you enjoyed the pictures!

 

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New! Comments

Plenty of fun kite info, photos and videos - there's definitely too much here for only one visit! Feel free to leave your impressions of this site or just this page, below...



Apologies for this site's current lack of video when viewed on mobile devices...

For now, please view this site on a Desktop or Laptop computer to see the videos. And there's plenty of them!

 

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