Saturday, May 10, 2014

Parrot Feathers Are Endlessly Fascinating

Like snowflakes, no two feathers are alike. Feathers are created by keratin proteins, the same material that creates parrot beaks, human hair, as well as finger and toe nails. There are two basic types of feathers: vaned feathers which cover the exterior of the body, and down feathers which are underneath the vaned feathers. Feathers aid in flight, thermal insulation, waterproofing, and coloration that helps in communication and protection.

Body feathers from our Ruby macaw Mr. Cracker (above) and our Greenwing macaw Roxanne

Detail of body feather from our Ruby macaw Mr. Cracker

Body feathers from our Ruby macaw Mr. Cracker (above) and our Greenwing macaw Roxanne

Body feathers from our Goffin's Cockatoo Kid Kadra

Body feathers from our Ruby macaw Mr. Cracker

Body feather from our female Blue and Gold macaw Bubba Boy

Our male Blue and Gold macaw Aboo's tail feathers, top feather still sporting protective sheath

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