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What's the function of this part of a feather?

Hawk12237

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The bird I find interesting in their flight skills is the humming bird. They are fascinating to watch! They can hover, go backwards, then speed off like a high powered dragster....zooooom!
 

Peachfaced

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The bird I find interesting in their flight skills is the humming bird. They are fascinating to watch! They can hover, go backwards, then speed off like a high powered dragster....zooooom!
Hummingbirds are incredible. Even in extreme winds, they are superb at maintaining balance and control. They really are a marvel.
 

Hawk12237

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Hummingbirds are incredible. Even in extreme winds, they are superb at maintaining balance and control. They really are a marvel.
They are also quite territorial. We have two separate families of humming birds in our yard.
Two different types. They fight over control of the feeders.
 

Peachfaced

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They are also quite territorial. We have two separate families of humming birds in our yard.
Two different types. They fight over control of the feeders.
We have that happen too. It's mostly males that do the fighting. Do you have a single feeder or multiple? They say that having more than one feeder and spreading them apart to where they can't see each other helps reduce it. It's breeding season as well.
 

Dona

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We have that happen too. It's mostly males that do the fighting. Do you have a single feeder or multiple? They say that having more than one feeder and spreading them apart to where they can't see each other helps reduce it. It's breeding season as well.
We had 2 large flower gardens in front of our last house with maybe 10 feet of grass between. We would normally see one hummingbird per garden and occasionally a fight right between. It was crazy and would last a minute or so, with them battling in a little flurry of wings. I didn't have hummingbird feeders but I guess my juicy flowers were enough.
 

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We had 2 large flower gardens in front of our last house with maybe 10 feet of grass between. We would normally see one hummingbird per garden and occasionally a fight right between. It was crazy and would last a minute or so, with them battling in a little flurry of wings. I didn't have hummingbird feeders but I guess my juicy flowers were enough.
Juicy flowers are the best!
 

Hawk12237

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We have that happen too. It's mostly males that do the fighting. Do you have a single feeder or multiple? They say that having more than one feeder and spreading them apart to where they can't see each other helps reduce it. It's breeding season as well.
We have multiple, it's usually when the babies get around wrong family the parents get chasing the other parents.
I was sitting on the porch with poppers, when one came up, think perhaps one of the young ones, and was just a foot or two in front of poppers and I . Then flew off.
Poppers isn't scared of anything, and actually found it amusing. I ask her, " wow poppers did you see that little baby bird?? " and she makes this cooing sound.
 

Rain Bow

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Oh shoot! I forgot to try to get a pic of his wing today!!! Sry, all.

We have a bunch of hawks where I live. I'm amazed at how the glide & cover such widespread areas with so little flapping. I ride in cars, not drive in cars & I find that I catch them out of the corner of my eye & it can be a drive through most of an entire town/city before we pass under them.
 

Karen

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Other species that have this feature are senegal parrots, red fronted macaws, and male princess parrots.
I remember postings from the past that mentioned the hovering and backward flight that the Red-Fronted Macaws were capable of. I've also seen some slow motion videos, they're amazing. Does anyone know if the Princess and Senegal's can do the same thing?
 

Hjarta5

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Wally dropped this feather yesterday and the notch is very prominent! :airplane::)

20191126_100146.jpg
 

Tinta

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Very interesting thread!

I am unsure what the different shapes are for specifically but assume it must do something subtle with wind resistence for flight. Maybe even communication?
It seems that the male Princess parrot has 'spatula' feathers, but the female does not. It strikes me as something similar to the tail, which is a bit longer and has a flared end in the male. These feathers come in with the adult plumage.


 

Monica

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@Ueda96 I do wonder if there are minute differences between the feathering of males and females in other species that we've never noticed before. Love those little unique feathers!
 

Mizzely

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Bumping up with some flight feathers examples from a Jardine's! You can see that there is some variation in even just these 4.

PXL_20230209_174535236.jpg PXL_20230209_174604492.jpg PXL_20230209_174551981.jpg
 

Tinta

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I just noticed this 'spatulette' (not quite as long/prominent as the spatula feather) edged feather in my male parrotlet. It brought to mind this thread immediately because I hadn't recalled seeing a feather like this on anything but the male princess parakeet.
I immediately showed my partner this entire thread and figured I'd also post a photo here. :)
 

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WillowQ

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:worthy: You are queen of research! Thank you so much! That's amazing!!
Hey hey. MSA got this info from Yours Truly. MSA used to be in Quaker Parakeet Society and on QPSlist.

I’m glad it’s gotten out there.
(Boy, that was along time ago.)
 

WillowQ

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You can find lots of info on feather and wing shapes online and in ornithology texts.

The earliest feathered dinosaurs had feathers with the quill in the middle, so scientists conclude that they only glided from high upon trees and did not have directional flight.

If you look at a central tail feather, the spine is right down the middle of the feather. Same amount of barbules on either side hooking together to form the flying surface of the feather.

You can see the flight feathers in photos above are asymmetrical. This works with the entire wing shape to give the lift and direction of a flying bird.
 
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