Flapping Bird

Now that my blog is one month old, it seems like a good time to post The Traditional Flapping Bird.  This is a great origami model to fold with children, and one that holds a very special place for me as it was how I got started with origami in the first place!

It is very similar to the Crane but simpler. The tail, neck and head are all slightly thicker and the wings aren’t angled outwards.  The Flapping Bird sacrifices some of the elegance of that model in favour of the action that makes the wings flap.

It’s a very simple model, taking about five to ten minutes. It’s not many steps more than a bird base, and you can find instructions for this simple base here.  Just about any paper will do, although I’d avoid really thin stuff like tissue paper as this will probably rip quite easily.  Kami or ordinary printer paper works well, and if you’re making it with a group of children, then newspaper, or the pages of an old magazine are also good, inexpensive choices.

Time to fold: Five to ten minutes
Difficulty: Simple
Paper: Avoid really thin papers. Kami or printer paper recommended

1. Start with a Bird Base. Instructions hereCompleted Bird Base
2. Fold the bottom left flap back up along the outside edge so it points out at an angle, UnfoldFold bottom left point up and unfold
3. Inside reverse-fold the bottom left flap up along the crease made in the previous stepInside reverse fold bottom left point
4. Fold the bottom right flap up and unfold, just as you did previously on the leftFold bottom right point up and unfold
5. Reverse fold the bottom right flap up Inside reverse fold bottom point
6. Fold the head down at an angle of your choice, There are no reference points for this - whatever you think looks goodFold the head down and unfold
7. Reverse fold the head downReverse fold the head
You have completed the flapping birdCompleted Flapping Bird


To make the bird flap:

Hold at the base of the neck with one handFlapping motion for the Flapping Bird

Hold the tail in the other hand. Pull backwards and forwards away from the model to make the wings flap.


Note: You may have to wiggle the wings up and down a few times before you start to get a good flapping motion