Oct 01 2010

Anatomy: Orbital Feathers

Published by at 7:30 am under Bird Anatomy

If you look closely at this common yellowthroat's eye you'll see something like eyelashes surrounding it.  Those "eyelashes" are actually feathers called orbital feathers.

Not all birds have orbital feathers -- some have bare skin -- but in a beauty contest for long eyelashes ostriches would win the prize.  (Click here to see.)

How amazing that their eyelashes are made of feathers instead of tiny hairs!

(photo by Chuck Tague. Check out his Birds' Eye Views photo gallery.)

One response so far

One Response to “Anatomy: Orbital Feathers”

  1. Bird Feederson 01 Oct 2010 at 2:41 pm

    The diversity of feather types is truly astonishing. I wonder if the functional significance of orbital feathers is similar to that of eyelashes in mammals. Thanks for the great post!

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