Have you ever looked closely at a bird feather? If not, it’s a sight to behold! Feathers not only assist most birds with traveling via flight; they also help birds hunt, evade predators (think camouflageand maneuverability), stay warm, and attract mates. Feathers can provide important clues in wildlife crime investigations too – helping to curb illegal wildlife trade. Furthermore, feathers have cultural and spiritual significance to many individuals and communities. Bald and golden eagle feathers, for instance, are important elements in religious ceremonies of American Indian Tribes.
Discover the importance of feathered feet for rough-legged hawks and other native North American bird species, and explore the brilliant yellow, orange, and scarlet plumage of western tanagers. Take a closer look at the feathers of familiar birds across the United States to learn about their fascinating colors and patterns – from red, brown, blue, and iridescent to spotted and striped! And check out the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Feather Atlas for more feather identification tips