Saturday, March 26, 2011

Feather Identification

Ever comes across a feather on the trail or even in your yard and wondered what bird it came from? Well there is a website published by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's Forensic Laboratory called "The Feather Atlas" that helps to identify any flight feathers of the wing and tail found on birds. I just came across this recently, actually by accident, and was totally excited when I found it. Follow the steps on the website using its search tools and it will lead you in the right direction to identifying your find. Using it I was able to classify the above as a wing feather of a red-shouldered hawk. Just remember though that the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act prohibits anyone, unless you have a special scientific salvage permit, from possessing feathers from any bird native to this country. So it's best to take photographs of the feathers you find for identification and leave the actual feather where it lays.

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