Q:

What are the different types of bird feathers?

A:

Quick Answer

Birds have flight, down, semiplume, filoplume, bristle and down feathers. The flight feathers are further divided into tail feathers, coverts and three types of wing feathers. Some birds also have powder down feathers.

Know More

Full Answer

The wing feathers, also called remiges, are comprised of primary, secondary and tertiary feathers. The primary remiges are closest to the wing tip, the tertiary are closest to the body and the secondary are between them. The covert feathers fill the border between the wing and tail feathers.

Down feathers, semiplumes and powder down feathers provide insulation. Semiplumes also maintain an aerodynamic form and are used in courtship displays. Powder down continuously grows and disintegrates at the tip, forming another layer of insulation.

Filoplumes and bristles are stiff feathers with few barbs. Filoplumes are found below the flight feathers and fill a sensory role, allowing the bird to adjust its flight feathers. Bristles are on the head and are sensory and protective in function.

The term "contour feather" is sometimes used to describe all the exterior feathers of a bird.

Learn more about Birds

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the heaviest flying bird?

    A:

    The heaviest flying birds are the kori bustard and the great bustard, which can both weigh up to 42 pounds each. The males of each species are the largest, with females weighing far less.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the world's fastest flying bird?

    A:

    The fastest flying bird in the world is the peregrine falcon, as it has a maximum in-flight speed of 229 feet per second. Peregrine falcons have patented a unique hunting technique by which they drop down from high above in a spectacular stoop in order to catch their prey.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the highest flying bird?

    A:

    The highest flying bird is the bar-headed goose, which can reach heights of around 21,120 feet. However, these geese typically travel at lower heights for most of their flight.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How are birds adapted for flight?

    A:

    Birds are adapted for flight with their hollow bones and their huge chest muscles as well as their feathers that help them to change direction. Birds also have fused bones that make it possible for them to fly with increased flexibility.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore