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30 January 2006
Anyone lose a tail feather?

White mystery featherI need help solving a minor mystery. B found this feather while out hiking around our field and the neighbor's woods this past weekend. I'm guessing it's a tail feather due to the blunt, squared tip. It's about 5 1/2 inches in length, a bit over 1 inch in width and is close, but not quite symmetrical. From the size, I'd guess that this feather does not belong to a small bird, but instead to a gull-sized bird or larger.

A white feather is an unusual find in our immediate vicinity - which could be described as open grassland with intermittent stands of pine, mixed non-climax hardwoods and wetlands.

I'm not aware of any chickens or domestic geese in our immediate area, but I certainly couldn't categorically rule them out. Who else has white 5 1/2" tail feathers? I don't think Canada geese have any white tail feathers. We don't typically have much in the way of water birds this time of year, though many could have passed over or through temporarily.

Whaddya think?

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