Friday, January 16, 2009

Feathers for a Friday

A little over a month ago I shared with you some photos of a pair of feathers affixed to a tree branch.

Much to my surprise, those feathers are still tenaciously hanging on to that branch, even after numerous bouts of high winds. I guess when a feather gets stuck on something, it's there to stay.

I found some other feathers recently, again stuck to tree branches.

I believe these to be feathers from a Dark-Eyed Junco, but if there's someone out there who knows their feathers, please school me.

This feather looks like it's been around for a while. It seems like it's lost most of it's structural integrity.

I wonder what other feathers I might find before the trees start to leaf out?


Shellmo said...

I don't think I've ever found feathers in the branches - lovely photos!

NW Nature Nut said...

Hi Heather! About the lens question. I asked Mr. Nut and he said our lens is the one you get with the camera and the quality is so-so. Vertually all of the bird photos you see on my blog are taken with that lens. It is versatle in that it isn't so big you can't go on a walk with it, but it gets you pretty close to birds. If it is zoomed out to 300mm, you can get decent photos 20-30 feet away. Mr. Nut was commenting that if we bought a better lens he'd just get a 300mm, not a zoom, since that is mostly what we use. I reminded him that I took a lot of insect/bee photos this summer with the 70mm, but I had to stand 6 feet back from the flower. That is good though, cuz you don't scare the bugs. You can see lots of bee posts in July and August on my blog. If you have more questions, feel free to e-mail me. My e-mail is on my profile page. Keep up the good blogging!

Angie said...

Beautiful Photos!!! I've never discovered feathers hanging on limbs. :) Awesome! A question---where did you purchase your peanut feeder? I haven't been able to find one like that. Would love to get one if I can. :)

Julie Zickefoose said...

Ahh! Mourning dove! Dove feathers are unique in that they are anchored rather loosely in the skin. Translation: they're a b-tch to skin! In addition, mourning doves are subject to fright molt, where they drop a bunch of feathers in response to stress and even gentle tugs. I've never seen anything like these photos--they're great. What probably happened was that the dove's tail got frozen to a branch as it sat (doves sit for long periods), and when it flew off, it pulled most of the tail out. I've noticed that modos seem to like to sit in my bird bath with their tails in the water (and do other things in the water) and that might be how the tail got wet and then froze to the twigs. Good news is the bird is probably still alive and doing fine.

I believe you have just suffered your first Science Chimp attack.
Eee! Eee! Eee!

Heather said...

Shelley: This is the first year I've noticed feathers stuck to tree branches myself. It's pretty cool.

NWNN: I will definitely check out your insect photos. As you can tell, I like to do a lot of macro work. If I have any other questions, I'll email you.

Angie: I got the peanut feeder at a local gardening/birding supply store here in Athens County. I would imagine, though, that anyplace that sells bird feeders would have something like it. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful!

Julie: Aha, Science Chimp to the rescue. Thanks for the ID. I never would have guessed morning dove! Doves sit for long periods?! No way! (=smirk=) Dave and I call it "camping". They all ought to have little newspapers and magazines with them while they sit, since they always leave poop behind!
But seriously... wow, you think those feathers are really most of its tail? I have no doubt that the feathers got frozen to the branch - that's what I thought, too, especially with the way they're all stuck together at the one end. I do hope that the bird is okay. Here's a question: you mention that their loosely anchored feathers make it durn hard to skin them. I've never skinned a bird, so can you explain why loose feathers = difficult skinning? Do you count on the feathers staying in place to help you keep a grip on the skin?