This article is a stub and may be expanded at a later date!
Udarra birds are probably one of the first things you'll notice on your first visit to The Iji Islands
. These giant, brightly coloured birds are as big (if not bigger than)
the sailing ship you arrived on! Their wingspan casts huge shadows over the land as they lazily glide from island to island.
Clutched in their orange talons is always a cage. Sometimes small, sometimes much bigger. These baskets and boxes contain a small number of people, livestock or packages that need to be transported quickly between the islands, or up and down the mountains.
It's much quicker and safer to travel by udarra, as it cuts out the ocean travel and they can fly over the huge rainforests without having to navigate a path through the middle. Udarra are guided by one navigator (often just known as a 'rider') who has the most dangerous job of being saddled just behind the head of the udarra, and trying not to fall off as they guide the great bird with a whistle and leads.
The cages and baskets are secured by a lead and have a unique stabilisation gyro that prevents the goods (or the passengers!) from being shaken around during flight. When the udarra bird needs to land it will keep one talon on the container and land effortlessly and gracefully on one leg, gently placing the container on the ground for the rider to disconnect.