flight feather


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flight feather

n.
Any of the comparatively large, stiff feathers of a bird's wing or tail that are necessary for flight.

feather

1. skin appendages of all birds. Comprise a central shaft with a flat vane on either side. The shaft consists of the calamus, embedded in the feather follicle, and the rachis which is outside the follicle. The calamus has an opening at each end, the superior and inferior umbilicus. The inferior umbilicus contains the dermal papilla which produces the pulp which continues up the interior of the calamus to end at and pass out through the superior umbilicus. Each feather has two parts, the mainfeather and a small afterfeather which is attached at the superior umbilicus. Barbs and barbules form the bulk of the vane.
Contour feathers are large feathers that give the bird its shape. Down feathers are very small feathers. Semiplume feathers are intermediate in size between contour and down. Filoplume feathers are hairlike and remain after other feathers are plucked. They have only one small tuft of barbs. Specialized additional feathers include auricular feathers, around the ear lobes, oil gland feathers, at the oil gland on the tail, bristle feathers on the eyelids and powder feathers in aquatic birds. Remiges are the large flight feathers of the wing and rectrices the very long contour feathers coming from the side of the tail. These are the longest feathers of all in the domestic fowl.
The feather coat consists of feather tracts (see below) or pterylae that are well defined and carry contour feathers and semiplumes. They are separated by unfeathered tracts called apteria. The distribution of special feathers of particular colors in particular pterylae is what gives the breeds their distinctive appearance. The feather coat is divided up into regions that include hackle, cape, cushion, saddle, wing bars, wing fronts and wing bows.
2. long hairs on the fetlocks of draft breeds of horses and in dogs, on the ventral body, caudal aspect of the legs, and ventral tail of spaniels and setters.
3. hair-streams that produce feather-like marks, in the haircoat of an animal.

feather clipping
clipping the flight feathers with tin shears will prevent flight for several months.
feather coat
the total feather covering of a bird. Called also ptilosis.
contour feather
the externally visible feathers which determine the bird's silhouette and the contours of the wings, body and tail.
feather cushion
the plumage from the pelvic tract of the hen, forming the back cover.
feather cysts
contain unerupted feathers and keratinous debris that may form large cutaneous lumps.
feather disease
an idiopathic disease of all varieties of cockatoos, lovebirds and budgerigars as young birds and characterized by a chronic, progressive, symmetrical loss of feathers, elongation of toenails and upper beak, which later becomes necrotic and sloughs off. Called also psittacine beak and feather syndrome.
filoplume feather
hairlike feathers, commonest on neck, head.
flight feather
the strong feathers on the wings and tail of birds used in flight. Called also remiges (plural), remex (singular).
feather follicle
a small tubular invagination of the skin with a fleshy dermal papilla at the bottom from which the feather grows. The papilla is inserted in the opening at the end of the quill.
feather mites
mites that live on and in feathers, often in enormous numbers but have little pathogenicity. Include the genera of Analges and Megninia of the family Analgesidae and the genus Dermoglyphus of the family Dermoglyphidae. Other miscellaneous genera are Syringophilus, Falculifer, Freyana, Pterolichus, Pteronyssus.
feather muscles
similar to erector pili muscles of mammals; attached to the sides of the follicle; capable of elevating or lowering entire groups of feathers.
feather picking
a vice thought to be due to insecurity and manifested by the bird pecking off its own feathers. If blood is drawn cannibalism may develop.
primary feather
flight feathers on the wings of birds.
psittacine beak and feather disease
see psittacine beak and feather disease.
feather pulling
see feather picking (above).
feather pulp
remnants of vascular tissue contained in the core of each feather.
saddle feather
the plumage covering the back of male birds.
feather syndrome
see psittacine beak and feather disease.
feather tract
area of the skin of a bird in which feathers grow. They are well defined and separated by unfeathered areas called apteria.
References in periodicals archive ?
Hundreds of parallel barbs extend from the middle rachis of a typical flight feather.
Owl centre director Craig Wesson said: "When he was brought in, his flight feathers down one wing were missing - they were right down to the base.
Flight feathers, wishbone, that perching foot, found in the limestone of a salt lagoon, a mould from the Jurassic, print, exactitude, a frozen moment in Earth's book of stone, the transition between dinosaur and bird, a memory of wing-feathers, skull and bones, like the impression left by a magpie on the lawn, bump-landing, lift-off, touch and go, its wing-beats leaving angels in the snow an icy hour before dawn.
Feather loss in birds with ectoparasite infestation, most commonly affects medial aspects of thighs, neck and covert feathers covering base of flight feathers (Forbes, 2003).
Each year, the drive takes place in late June, when Canada geese molt, shedding their flight feathers and growing new ones.
This basic wing configuration has remained more or less the same for the past 130 million years, with bird wings having a layer of long, asymmetrical flight feathers with short covert feathers on top.
Eight 1-year-old common pintails (Anas acuta acuta) and one 2-year-old white-faced whistling duck (Dendrocygna viduata) were presented for the persistence of primary flight feathers 1 year after pinioning.
Also important: that the chicks develop their more weatherproof, flight feathers, and that they demonstrate fear.
Social lapwing with a length between 27-30 centimetres is a strikingly patterned greyish plover with black and chestnut belly whereas saker falcon is a large falcon with a length of 47-55 cm, wingspan between 105-129 cm, a brown upper belly, contrasting grey flight feathers as well as paler brown head.
There was a distinct change from the white, downy, chest feathers to the tawny-brown flight feathers on the wing and back.
All but the most complicated asymmetrical flight feathers have shown up so far in dinosaurs, Prum notes.