ANATOMY OF A FEATHER
Description and Parts of a Feather
FLY TYING INSTRUCTION
http://www.flytyinginstruction.com
Fly tying equipment and materials
reference guide. Learn how to tie
flies for fishing and display.

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PARTS OF A FEATHER
When researching feather anatomy, you will find different terminology for the same parts.

CALAMUS -

Also called the quill and is the end of the feather that would be attached in the skin follicle.

RACHIS -

Also referred to as the stem it is the hollow center shaft that runs from the quill to the tip.

VANES -

On both sides of the rachis.

BARBS -

Also referred to as Rami and are the smaller stems that branch of the rachis.

BARBULES -

Tiny extensions that run along the barbs.

BARBICELS -

Also called hooklets Tiny hooks on the barbules that that lock together with the barbicels of neighboring barbs and hold them together.

AFTERFEATHER -

Fluffy barbs on the plumulaceous section of the feather that help insulate the bird.

TYPES OF FEATHERS
The most common types of feathers are:
____

PRIMARY WING -

Located on the leading edge of the wings.

SECONDARY WING -

The shorter feathers on the the wing

CONTOUR BODY -

Provide waterproofing, streamlining when in flight and protection from the elements.

SEMIPLUME -

Similar to down feathers, but are larger.

FILOPLUME -

Hairlike feathers most common on neck and head.

DOWN -

Fluffy under feathers that insulate the bird.

TAIL FEATHERS -

Feathers attached to the rump

BRISTLE FEATHERS -

Stiff feathers around the mouth and eyes.


Additional feathers include auricular feathers that are located around the ear lobes, oil gland feathers, and powder feathers in aquatic birds.

Barbs of a Feather
Magnified view of feather barbs.
(You can also see the barbules which
look like tiny hairs running the length
of the barb.)

Barbs of a Feather
Diagram shows how the barbules from
neighboring bards intersect and are locked
together with tiny hooklets that are called
barbicels.

Feathers help the bird to fly and provide waterproofing, insulation from the cold and elements, and in some cases with camouflage and display. Feathers are made of keratin, a protein found in hair, fingernails and reptile scales.

It should be noted that bats and insects can also fly and they don't have feathers, but birds are much more proficient at maneuvering, because the feathers help with control and stabilization of the aerodynamics involved in flight.

FEATHER CARE AND STORAGE
Some general advice about cleaning and storage of feathers.

BUYING AND SELECTING FEATHERS
What to look for when buying feathers. As a beginner we bought a lot of worthless and damaged feathers. This page will help in the selection of good quality feathers.
 

MATCHING FEATHERS
How to match and pair feathers when tying feather wings on a fly.

FLY TYING FEATHERS:
AM-GOLD PHEASANT
ARGUS BODY FEATHERS
ARGUS HEN QUILL FEATHERS
ARGUS PRIMARY TAIL FEATHERS
ARGUS SECONDARY WING FEATHERS
BANKSIAN COCKATOO
BARRED WOOD DUCK FEATHERS
BIOTS (GOOSE / TURKEY)
BLUE EARED PHEASANT
BLUE EDGED MANTLE BODY
BRONZE MALLARD FEATHERS
BUSTARD FLORICAN FEATHERS
BUSTARD KORI FEATHERS

CDC FEATHERS

CHATTERER
CHUKAR SKINS
COQ DE LEON
COTINGA
CRANE FEATHERS
DUCK QUILLS
EMU FEATHERS
GADWALL DUCK FLANK
GOLDEN PHEASANT SKINS
GOLDEN PHEASANT CREST
GOLDEN PHEASANT TAIL
GOLDEN PHEASANT TIPPETS
GOOSE SHOULDER FEATHERS
GRAY PEACOCK SINGLE EYES
GUINEA FOWL FEATHERS
HUNGARIAN PARTRIDGE
INDIAN CROW
JAY
JUNGLE COCK
KINGFISHER
LADY AMHERST CENTER TAIL
LADY AMHERST TIPPETS
LEMON DUCK FEATHERS
MACAW TAIL FEATHERS
MALAY PEACOCK SINGLE EYE
MALLARD SIDE FEATHERS
MALLARD WINGS
OSTRICH HERL
PARROT FEATHERS
PEACOCK FEATHERS
PEACOCK HERL
PEACOCK NECK FEATHERS
PEACOCK QUILL FEATHERS
PEACOCK SWORD FEATHERS
RINGNECK PHEASANT
SCARLET MACAW
SILVER PHEASANT
STARLING SKIN
SWAN FEATHERS
TEAL FEATHERS
TURKEY FEATHERS

WOOD DUCK FEATHERS

HACKLE FEATHERS
Hackle feathers are a complete subject in themselves and these pages will sort through some of the confusion.

MARABOU FEATHERS
Marabou are fluffy feathers that have a breathing action in the water.

FLY TYING INSTRUCTION
http://www.flytyinginstruction.com
Fly tying equipment and materials
reference guide. Learn how to tie
flies for fishing and display.

ANATOMY OF A FEATHER