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outermost joint of a bird's wings and on its tail.  The flight feathers on the part of the bird's wing that is closest to its trunk are called the secondary feathers and are a little shorter and squarer than the primaries.

Some birds' flight feathers are quite stiff, while others are softer.  For example, birds like pelicans, gulls, or vultures have very stiff feathers that make a lot of noise when they fly. It is not important for them to sneak up quietly because their food is either underwater or dead.  Hummingbirds also have stiff noisy wing feathers that actually hum because they are moving so fast. This is fine for a hummingbird whose principle foods are nectar and insects.  However, an owl's survival depends on being able to sneak up very quietly on their prey so they have much softer feathers that make very little noise.

(c)The contour feathers cover the body and the front edges of the wings and provide the smooth surface necessary for efficient flight.  

(d)Underneath the contour feathers there is a layer of down feathers which keep the bird warm.  These feathers

are also used in pillows and jackets to help keep

humans warm and comfortable.  Flight and contour feathers are often brightly colored, especially in the male.  

(e)Scattered among the down feathers there are some tiny hair-like feathers known as filoplumes which are connected to nerves in the bird's skin and tell the bird when its feathers become ruffled.

Assist students in using the magnifying lens and the feather in the Traveling Trunk to study and draw the structure of a feather, determine what type of feather it is and which bird

    it may have belonged to.

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