Use the "I love you" handshape to represent an airplane flying
through the air. This sign is a noun/verb pair.
Note: You might want to angle your palm a bit more downward than I'm
For "AIRPLANE" use a small double motion. You move the hand
forward just a couple inches or so, then bring it back, then move it forward
Once you have established that you are talking about a bird, you could then
show that bird in flight.
Note: If you want to talk about
how a bird is flying, you can flap
your arms/hands as if you had wings to show what kind of wing strokes the
bird is making.
For a small bird you would flap just
your hands or for a very small bird you could "flap" the index and middle fingers of your hands (while making a
whistling facial expression). For a large bird or a pterodactyl you
would extend your arms and use a large flapping motion.
For a bird with a broken wing you could just flap one arm or hand.
For a penguin you'd hold your hands down near your hips, (touching your
wrists to your hips and pointing your fingertips out to the side) then do a
side to side rocking movement in your torso to represent the waddling of a
You can can show how an insect (such as a fly) flies: