Feathers and the LAW .

To: "Maurovic, Mauro (DHS)" <>, "birding aus" <>
Subject: Feathers and the LAW .
From: "Philip A. Veerman" <>
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 23:06:31 +1000
I am answering Mauro in a generalist way. I'm sure there are exceptions to this comment:
Mostly feathers (other than just down or tiny feathers), can be identified if there are several from one bird or some other clue e.g. habitat, by colour pattern, in combination with shape and size. Texture can be helpful, feathers from owls are immediately recognizable as they are soft. Shape and size will indicate broad possibilities of the size range of the bird and what part of the bird it is from, eg. you can immediately tell a left primary from a right primary or a tail feather, regardless of what species or colour pattern it is (ratites and penguins etc. excluded). Knowing which feather it is you have ie. anatomically, can then lead you to matching the colour pattern to likely suspects. Sometimes it is tricky and you need to consult references or specimens. Often even isolated feathers are obvious as to what part of what species they are. I can identify most of the feathers I come across (other than just down or tiny feathers) often to species or to broader levels eg. it would be hard to separate isolated feathers of Lichenostomus honeyeaters or many seabirds which are not very colourful. The reason I say several from one bird, is if you have feathers from different parts of a bird, which can be worked out by shape, that greatly increases the chance that there is diagnostic patterns available from colour pattern alone.
-----Original Message-----
From: Maurovic, Mauro (DHS) <>
To: <>
Date: Friday, 22 June 2001 12:01
Subject: RE: [BIRDING-AUS] Feathers and the LAW .

One thing still intrigues does a prosecutor prove the feather is
from a specific Australian bird or just a chook ? Mind you an emu feather is
a pretty good giveaway.

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