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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nature Study: Feathers as Clothing

Lora, Lora, escapadora! 
{escapist parrot!!}

I love her colors (or his as the case may be :).  She is beautiful, you'll probably agree.
But she is the most amazing persistent bird when it comes to getting out of her cage.
She spent weeks working away at the chicken wire until last week,
finally she'd managed to make a bird sized escape route.
We'd be all for letting her stay in the tree... but she has her mind set
on finding her soulmate and will not be convinced to stay put.
Her name is Aurora.  She is rather lovely.  :)
Her colors may seem rather attention-getting to N.Americans, but you
should see her in the lime tree...  but that's just the thing.  You CAN'T see her.
Her colors help her blend in perfectly in the jungle trees.
We're told she'll perhaps talk, if we're consistent with her... we shall see. 
When we first got her she seemed really tame, she would stay on a shoulder, or an arm.
But as soon as we brought her home and put her in the lime tree, perhaps she began to
remember her nest, but she has been restless ever since.

"It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds."


"Birds seem to know perfectly well the beauty
of their plumage. Not only do they try to show
it off, as the peacock when he spreads his tail,
but they seem to feel shame when their feathers
are injured or soiled. One white feather coming
in where it does not belong will make a bird
very unhappy. He will work and tug at it to
pull it out, and often make himself actually ill
over the trouble."
Olive Miller                           
The Childrens' Book of Birds

Different types of feathers:
(We cooked our chickens!  yes. I can't believe I just said that either, but it's true... :S
but before they went, I made sure that we would be supplied with feathers for our bird study... 
I know. I felt appropriately guilty. It was all rather grim. Tried to make the best of it!)

1) Flight feathers - stiff feathers found on wings and tail
2) Clothing feathers - those found on the breast and body
3) Downy feathers - white and downy under the clothing feathers (tighty-whiteys)
4) Thread feathers - among clothing feathers
5) Powder down feathers - particular to some cockatoos & herons
6) Plumes - fancy feathers for dress up :) - seen on ostriches, peacocks, roosters, etc.

Reasons for different colored feathers:
1) Mother birds are usually colored with drab colors to help hide them and their nests from predators!
2) The daddies have special colors to help them find a mate.

Discussion is about to resume on the AOy0 list soon!  Join in HERE.


Silvia said...

Thanks for educating me about feathers, birds, and with your sparkly style...I'm in love with Aurora already. Hope to hear more about her, and if she ever gets to talk.


Leslie said...

Aurora is beautiful. I have a friend who owns several exotic birds and she likes to come to events with one on her shoulder or in her shirt. Such vivid beauty really is breathtaking.

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