What kind of feather is this? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: What kind of feather is this?

06-24-2003, 01:18 AM
Was walking around my new neighborhood and found this feather on the sidewalk. Looks like a goose shoudler but the stem is to thin and flexible compared to the ones I have. Looks like it may make a nice spey feather:


06-24-2003, 09:14 PM

It is hard to tell with the picture you posted because it looks way to orange. However, it looks like a Merganser flank feather to me. Although the Merganser flank feather is a rose-tan color (thus my comment on the color geing too orange in your picture). The vermiculations on the feather also point in the direction of Merganser flank.

Merganser flank is a very good spey feather, especially used as a collar or face hackle.

Stu Farnham
06-25-2003, 07:57 AM
Here's a photo of a merganser flank. Like many duck flanks, it is barred.


06-25-2003, 09:12 AM
Hmmm. We don't have any geese that colorful in my parts. I'd say someone's parrot got loose.

06-26-2003, 12:46 AM

Your picture shows the feather as being almost totally brown instead of the nice rose-tan color of the Merganser flank feather. The Merganzer shoulder feathers are more the darker brown like the feather you pictured. The breast feather are a lot lighter and have a very definite pink coloration or cast to the feather.

Jim W,

I've never seen an orange parrot feather that had the bars on it that the feather Sean pictured has. Orange parrot feathers of this size are a solid color and come almost exclusively from Macaws. Flamingo feathers are both more feathery (they look like a light to hot pink heron feather) and flamingos do not live in the Seattle area either.

Stu Farnham
06-26-2003, 07:54 AM
But I do. The feather I photographed is definitely a hooded merganser flank. I know -- I shot and skinned the bird. What I see missing from the feather in the original post is the distinct barring usually present in merganser flank.

06-26-2003, 01:23 PM

That is why I mentioned to Sean that his picture made it difficult to tell what feather it may be from. There is barring present in Sean's picture, look at the edges of the feather and you can see the barring. The poor color of Sean's Photo really makes it nearly impossible to tell what bird it came from.

06-26-2003, 01:32 PM
I will get a better photo up. The color is tangerine orange and there is no barring. The photo just came out bad.

The top and tips of the barbules are white which makes me think this is a natural color of some sort.

It is not stiff enough to be goose but the feather looks a lot like a burned goose shoulder. The stem is just much thinner.

Will photo it again tonight.


Mean Mr Mustard
06-26-2003, 02:01 PM
Looks like a fan feather from an exotic dancer I was seeing in Tukwila back in '82. Now that was some redhead! We called her choo-choo because she liked trains.



07-02-2003, 12:26 AM
I just so happened to be peeling through the pages of one of my atlantic salmon fly tying books (Salmon Flies by Poul Jorgenson) and on page 33 on the bottom there is a feather with same coloration and shape. Only difference is near the top which in sean's pic is a tad flat, in this one has a bit of a point. But I know that feathers change in shape depending on where they are at on the body. In the book it's called a "Hen Body Feather". But, shows 5 flies but 6 listings. I can match the rest up. So could it also be Dyed Cock of the Rock??? I knwo it wouldn't be dyed since it was found. But, may have forgotten a feather. Maybe flytyer still has book, or someone else does and can check it out. Looks PRETTY similar. Virtually identicle (just that sean's is a bit more ruffled).

Just an idea. The picture nearly matches identical.

07-11-2003, 06:18 PM
This feather is interesting. I get a guy from the UK to bring over heron (legal in UK) feathers and some have a very similar look including very faint barring. The color doesn't match up but I wonder if it is an urban or suburban neighborhood setting, if the feather could have come from a costume or prop? Could be a great Intruder/spey tie.

07-11-2003, 07:37 PM
jcc_00, I think you might have a point. As soon as I saw that feather the thought that came to mind was that the 3 Musketeers were walking through Sean's neighborhood.

07-11-2003, 08:54 PM

That is Mollucan Cockatoo crest and that is it's natural color.