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.
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
There are 21 different species of cockatoos, but the types most commonly kept as pets include the bare-eyed, black palm, citron, Goffin's, Moluccan, rose-breasted, slender-billed, sulphur-crested and umbrella cockatoos. The smallest and easiest to care for species of cockatoo is the cockatiel.Full Answer >
The easiest way to tell male and female turkeys apart is by looking at their feathers. Female turkeys (hens) have brown or gray feathers, while male turkeys (gobblers) have brightly colored feathers. If one can only see the head of a turkey, they should see a nearly featherless head on the male and a slightly feathered head on the female.Full Answer >
Birds preen their feathers to keep them in prime condition. Preening improves the look of the feathers, removes dust and parasites, and aligns the feathers.Full Answer >
Peacocks, the male peafowl, show their feathers to court peahens, the female peafowl. Fanning and displaying the tail is part of their mating routine and determines which peacock a hen mates with. She chooses her mate based on the quality, size and colors of his tail feathers.Full Answer >