Posts tagged ‘Feathers’

Can ducks swim without being taught?

Like all young waterfowl, ducks don’t have to be taught how to swim.  A baby duck knows how to swim as soon as it hatches from the egg.  The mother duck leads the ducklings to the water as soon as they can travel.

It will take a duckling six or more weeks before learning to fly.  During their first few months, the young duckling lives on water insects, grasses and other kinds of plant life.

Ducks and most other water birds have a special way to keep dry.  They use their bills to spread waterproofing oil over their feathers.  The oil comes from a gland near their tails.–Dick Rogers

Why do birds molt?

Molting Bird

Feathers wear out, as clothes do, and need to be replaced. The process is called “molting.”  Birds molt their feathers at least once a year, in late summer or early fall.  Feathers are made from a substance called “keratin.”  It is basically the same material your hair is made of. 

In molting, old worn feathers drop out of their sockets in a bird’s skin and new ones grow in their place.  Some birds grow bright, new feathers for the nesting season. 

These birds molt twice a year.  Most birds molt just a few feathers at a time, so they are able to fly during molting periods.Dick Rogers

How do birds fly?

Birds Flying

Most birds are well suited for flying.  First of all, a bird has feathers and wings, and powerful muscles in its breast with which to flat them.  A bird’s body is streamlined to other little air resistance. Its bones are light in weight. Many of them are hollow and filled with air.

When a bird beats its wings downward, it produces a lifting force that holds the bird in the air.  As the wings flap downward to flight, the long wingtip feathers twist and push against the air, moving the bird forward.  The bird uses its tail feathers as a brake and as a rudder for steering. – Dick Rogers

Why do birds have feathers?

Birds have something that no other animal has—a covering of feathers.  These feathers help birds to fly and also keep them warm.  Birds have two main kinds of feathers:  “contour” and “down”.

The large, outer feather that cover the wings, body and tail of a bird are

Bird

called “contour” feathers.  These feathers streamline the body and help the bird fly smoothly through the air.

“Down” feathers are the soft, fluffy feathers found under the outer feathers.  Down feathers provide warmth.

Waterbirds have extra-thick coats of down.  That is why the ducks we see in the wintertime padding about in icy water are not cold.

The entire covering of feathers is called the “plumage.”

Feathers wear out, just as clothes do, and need to be replaced.

Birds lose an their feathers at least once a year and replace them with new ones.  This change of feathers is a process called “molting”.  – Dick Rogers

Why does a peacock raise its feathers?

Peacock

The handsome peacock spreads his feathers into a gorgeous fan when he courts the female, or peahen.  A peacock is a bird with beautiful, rainbow-colored feathers.  Its range is really “peafowl”.

The male bird is called a peacock.  It is about as large as a turkey and has a long train or greenish feathers brilliantly spotted with bronze blue, green and gold.  A crest adorns his head.

The feather which grow from the back (and not the tail), are spread out into a gorgeous fan as the bird struts back and forth, “proud as a peacock ,” for all to see.

His majestic parade of flashing colors is actually a courtship display to charm the female, or peahen, and persuade her that he is the most handsome peacock.  The peahen is less brightly colored and has no train of feathers.

As you might imagine, the peacock’s magnificent plumage has made it a favorite parts of the world.  A peacock’s call is so loud it can be heard far away.  It sounds like a human screaming.  – Dick Rogers