Birds use their feathers in a variety of ways: as an aid to flight, for warmth and, in some cases, for camouflage. The feathers of our winged friends also have any number of uses for us humans. Depending on their distinctive qualities, different birds’ feathers are best used for different things.
Feathers as a Fisherman’s Friend
A well-tied feather makes for a useful fishing lure. The trick to a good lure is in how it moves, its shine and its color, all of which must appear natural enough to fool the fish. Certain feathers naturally evolved for birds to interact with water. Fly-fishing enthusiasts are especially fond of feathers for hand-tying flies, where a feather is attached to a hook and submerged in imitation of an insect. Colorful varieties such as duck, rooster and pheasant feathers all make fine fishing flies.
Feathers for Fancy Fashion
Feathers have been a part of the fashion industry for centuries. Victorian ladies were known for their elaborate hats adorned with exotic avian plumages. Nowadays, artificially colored feathers used in clothing and other accessories are mostly recycled from other standard poultry operations. Turkey and ostrich feathers are popular in boas, headdresses and similar apparel. Oddly enough, rooster hackles, a feather particularly prized by fly-fishers, have recently taken off as high-end hair extensions. This new trend has sent hackle prices soaring.
Feathers in Arts and Crafts
The thing about crafting is it can be done using practically any available materials. Bird feathers have always been a traditional handicraft item. Inexpensive dyed chicken feathers are fine for most art projects, including as costume accessories, on dreamcatchers, and in feather fans and all manner of other ornaments from simple decorations to inspiring originals. Jewelry designers prefer naturally colorful plumage, such as that of pheasants and peacocks, for bringing extra beauty to earrings and necklaces.
Whether you’re a bird or a human being, a set of feathers can come in handy for all kinds of things.