Have you ever found a feather on the ground and wondered what kind of bird it came from? If so, you're not alone! People who are interested in birds recognize that value of feathers as evidence of birds that can help us understand which species are found in an area. Scientists who study birds use lots of kinds of evidence, including feathers, visually identifying birds they see, the songs they hear, nests and more!
In this activity, you can practice identifying birds by learning to match feathers to different bird species. This activity can help you learn to observe details in feathers and on birds, notice patterns, and make inferences about the evidence.
**Note: If you find a feather, take a picture of it, or make drawings and notes about it. In many places, you are not allowed to take feathers from the birds that live in the area, especially birds of prey (hawks, owls, eagles, vultures) and birds whose feathers might be used for decorations or clothing! Leave the feathers where you find them after you take a photo or record your observations.
Feather Detective Sections