Bird word: flight feathers

  • Flight feathers: these are the well developed feathers on the wings and tail which are used in flight. The wing feathers consist of primaries, secondaries and tertiaries.

I have tried a number of times to capture the flight of various birds, generally with not much luck. In many cases the flight feathers show up brilliant colours or patterns not apparent when the bird is viewed sitting. I remember one attempt late last year when a number of Whiskered Terns were skimming low over us on the edge of Lake Alexandrina while we had a cuppa. For nearly an hour I tried to get a photo; only blurred images or cloud shots resulted. Very frustrating. With more time and experience – not to mention cooperative birds – I will succeed in capturing some great shots one day. In the meantime, you have to be satisfied with this photo of a Caspian Tern.

Caspian Tern

Caspian Tern

Updated November 2013.


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