My 6yr old daughter found this feather under an oak tree in our garden today. I thought it might be a Hoopoe but not sure. Anyone care to put me right. I did notice a strange bird sound last night when I was working from the office at the bottom of the garden but didn't really pay close attention.
What do you think?
What is the length of the feather ? It looks rather large to belong to a Hoopoe. The Hoopoe is a very uncommon visitor to the UK , chances of finding a feather from one must be very small indeed. I'd guess the feather is from a Pheasant.
It's a Tawny Owl feather (one of the outer primaries). You should find that it is extremely soft to the touch (even softer than many other feathers), with an almost downy upper surface. This is an adaptation that helps owls to fly silently.
Hi Tom welcome to the forum
It's great to see you're getting a Tawny Owl in the garden, if i remember correctly it was mentioned last year on the forum about this time of year you can hear really strange calls coming from them as they search for their own Winter hunting territory, if Roy sees this he may put me right.
Yes I think the strange noises are the young Tawny's looking for their own patch.
Thanks everyone for your comments. I've looked and would agree it's defintiely a Tawny. It is indeed super-soft! You almost can't feel it on your hand when you brush your skin against it. We shall be keeping my eyes peeled for more signs!
Tom & Lily
Listen out for it Tom & Lily, about this time last year one nearly gave me a heart attack with its calling in the middle of the night.
Nice one RoyW. Yes to a Tawny owl. I have a similar feather on my desk at work.