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mtngal Mar 1, 2009 9:36 PM

This afternoon I found this feather (more than one) in the backyard. I have no idea what bird it is from, and wondered if you can tell what that from just a feather. It's pretty.

Most of the feather:

Detail of one end:

One side of the feather is bright orange:

The other side of the feather is black, with some white spots on the side:

The edge of two feathers:

Does anyone have an idea what type of bird lost these feathers? There were a number of them on the ground, and some down/underfeathers on some branches in a tree above. I don't know if they indicate a nest (I've found a feather or two in the same location) or if it's the scene of the bird's demise.

All pictures taken with the K20, most with the Viv 105 with the M50mm 1.4 reversed. One taken with the 77 Ltd/50mm 1.4 reversed.

penolta Mar 1, 2009 10:37 PM

It is the outer tail feather of a Northern (Red-shafted) Flicker. Sounds like like a Cooper's Hawk or a Peregrine Falcon has been hanging around. The first picture is the only one you'd need.

mtngal Mar 1, 2009 11:38 PM

Ah, but the other pictures are more fun to take, though not definitive. Flickers have been hanging around recently (one was pecking at the wood flashing of an upstairs window, right by the computer within the last couple of weeks). I just didn't realize that their tail feathers would have one side so brightly orange. They are rather pretty birds, even though they aren't brightly colored - more interesting than beautiful.

I know we have hawks that hang around not far from here - I hear them often. I always assumed they were red tail hawks, but I've never gotten a good look at one, so they are probably Cooper's Hawks. Are there Peregrine Falcons around here? Interesting!

interested_observer Mar 1, 2009 11:59 PM

Yes, there are Peregrine Falcons in your area. They range up from Baja California, through the Channel Islands (or use to) and to the north. There use to be several pair in the San Luis Obispo area and also out by Diablo Canyon. They are great for keeping the Pigeon population in check.

nhmom Mar 2, 2009 10:57 AM

Interesting topic. And, nice detailed images Harriet. All I usually see around here is seagull feathers.


Wingman Mar 2, 2009 12:47 PM

No clue about the bird ID...but I can tell you're having a blast with macro photography:lol:. The microsopic detail is great!

Goldwinger Mar 2, 2009 1:52 PM

Some how I knew Pen would be able to ID those feathers.:G
Nice shots Harriet.


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