contour feather


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contour feather

n.
Any of the outermost feathers of a bird, forming the visible body contour and plumage.
References in periodicals archive ?
The molt of the tail and body contour feathers begins after the molt of the primaries are well advanced (after primaries 4-6 have been replaced) and are completed at the same time or shortly before completion of the molt of the primaries (Marin 2003).
Semiplumes lay under the contour feathers and over the down feathers.
Iridescent colors such as the head feathers of greater scaup, a hummingbird's throat patch (gorget), and the contour feathers of a grackle, all work in a similar way.
Contour feathers have broad, flat blades that cover and shape the bird's body.
Body or contour feathers cover down feathers to provide a smooth and waterproof surface.