Random Acts of Living


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

What Is It?

A couple of weeks ago, when the wind was blowing real hard, I had to go out to my car for something. I noticed a brown, round thing rolling around in the wind and picked it up. This is what I found....
It is a "ball of feathers". There doesn't appear to any bones in it, but I haven't really dissected it.
The underside is open and it is filled with down. I have never seen anything like this in nature. I've seen old hats layered with feathers like the surface of this though.
Does anyone have a clue as to what this is?

12 comments:

Peter said...

Hi! I know what it is! It's a feather ball, much like a fur ball from a cat.

Anita said...

Rick thinks it may be just feathers stripped all together from a bird being eaten... He says they can sometimes stay together like that even without skin attached, because of the way they lay together...

?? Who knows... it's definately strange!!

Moonshadow said...

Oh, Peter! I don't know if you're being serious or jerking my leg. But I get this image of a little birdie hacking up a feather ball. OH, MY! I guess I should've laid a ruler next to it, it's about 4 or 5 inches long

Anita - How strange indeed. So has Rick seen something like this before?

Alice said...

How interesting and slightly creepy. Maybe it is something used to lure chicken eating birds like hawks so the farmer can easily dispatch them.

KSHIPPYCHIC said...

HEEHEE! Maybe it's a birdy TOUPEE!!! :)

Wendy said...

It's pretty neat! My first and only thought was that maybe it was the work of a neighborhood squirrel. Maybe it lined it's nest with bird feathers? But, I doubt that's right, I think squirrels line their nests with fur that they've shed.

Anonymous said...

Could it be a "down lined" birds nest???

Carolyn said...

Interesting find! other than what has been mentioned, I don't have a clue either. Nature can produce strange things, though. Let us know if you figure it out.

Moonshadow said...

Thanks, everyone for taking a look and giving a guess. I still don't have anything definitive on it. Hubby thought it might have been a lining from a birds nest that blew out. Here's a guess from an email I received...

The feathers are all of the same type (breast feathers) and they still have the arrangement that they had while on the live bird, in terms of alignment and overlap. That argues against anything involving dispersion and re-arrangement, as would happen when a mouse builds a nest of feathers. My guess is that a red-tailed hawk or an eagle captured a chukar hen (google it for a photo) and in the process of eating it pulled off a chunk of the chukar's breast feathers intact, including the down and possibly some fragments of skin. I think that's what you have there.

Thanks, Barry, for that. Anita, that goes along with what Rick guessed.

Anonymous said...

Hey Moonshadow,
This is msnightingale...I think what you have there is a small buff hen that was eaten by a hawk or an owl and the feathers were left intact when it was in a huddle. I like your blog site...It's cool..Talk to you later..

Momo Fali said...

Wow! That is really strange. I'm going to share this with my daughter. Her class is studying birds right now.

Moonshadow said...

A neighbor up the road said it was probably the breast feathers from a buff Cochin chicken from a neighbor on down the road. When the chickens are cleaned the breast feathers often come off in one piece connected by the skin. When the skin dries it curls up in a ball. A friend that works with deer hides and skulls took a look at it and found that there was still moisture on the inside and advised that I fill it with non-iodized salt, which I have done.

This sounds to be the most logical explanation unless someone comes up with something different.