Sunday, 21 April 2013

#419 In the studio: Bird anatomy, con't .

Please start this bird anatomy series with post #403, March 10.

The bird's tail is actually a combination of left and right tail feathers.  One side cannot be spread without  the other spreading also but each side can move up and down independently.  Because of the two sides, there are always an even number of tail feathers.

The bird's tail is shaped differently depending on the species and how nature intended the bird to live and eat:  
The function of the tail is braking, steering, balance, aerodynamic lift, display, and signaling.

Below is an illustration showing several basic tail shapes for different bird species: 
                  1.  Square - starling or nuthatch             5.  Pintail - duck
                  2.  Cleft - Finch                                       6.  Wedge - raven
                  3.  Deep forked - tern or swallow            7.  Fantail - cuckoo
                  4.  Spiked feathers - woodpecker           8.  Elongated center feathers - bee-eater  

There are also variations, such as rounded (crow), pointed (mourning dove),
graduated (magpie), and several unique . . . such as roosters, peafowl, etc. 

Below is a recent sculpture of a Fantailed Pigeon . . . pigeons are in the dove family of birds.

Hearts Entwined 
12"H 22"L 11"D
Copyright - Sandy Scott

Below, detail . . . Hearts Entwined
All drawings and sculpture, copyright - Sandy Scott

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