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Since the 20th century, scientific ornithology has been closely linked to the conservation of birds. The study of feathers is a factor that is often overlooked. In museums, the majority of their bird skin collections are archived, stored away in drawers under lock and key and only ever seen by a very selective audience and not the general public.

You only love what you know, and you only protect what you love.
Konrad Lorenz

Being able to touch, feel and study a feather in the hand engages people, especially children, with nature; what child hasn’t stopped to pick up a feather in a park or their backyard and marvel at it, and wonder what bird it came from. From a long, slender Arctic Tern primary, which has undertaken an incredible migratory journey of around 37.000 miles / 60.000 kilometers from pole to pole, to the soft, downy feather of a Barn Owl, helping the bird to fly on silent wings as it hunts at night; every feather has a fascinating story to tell, each so unique in its makeup, shape, form, texture, color and function it serves to the bird. Feathers can teach us so much about birds and how they live. They bring people closer to the natural world – and therefore play an important role in its preservation.

Featherbase is a working group of German feather scientists and other collectors worldwide who came together with their personal collections and created the biggest and most comprehensive online feather library in the world. Using our website, it is possible to identify feathers from hundreds of different species, compare similarities between them, work out gender or age-specific characteristics and look at the statistics of countless feather measurements. In contrast to the conventional work of museums, Featherbase is much more oriented towards the general public, allowing not just enrolled scientists the opportunity to gain access to the collection, but anyone with an interest in studying birds and their feathers. Featherbase also frequently collaborates with scientific or educational organizations by offering images, data or teamwork in general.

Featherbase works completely independently, without administrative affiliation, and first and foremost without commercial interests. We are a non-profit making entity and funded entirely by our own contributors. The collecting of feathers and skins for our database is approved by the relevant authorities, and for any protected/CITES listed species held, we are fastidious about maintaining records of their origin.

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species
7393
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113197
measurements

recent changes

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Dawid Fikus created the specimen 10186 in Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

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Dawid Fikus created the specimen 10185 in Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

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Dawid Fikus created the specimen 10184 in Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

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Dawid Fikus created the specimen 10183 in Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

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Dawid Fikus created the specimen 10182 in Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

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Dawid Fikus created the specimen 10181 in Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

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Dawid Fikus created the specimen 10180 in Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

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Dawid Fikus created the specimen 10179 in Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

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Dawid Fikus created the specimen 10178 in Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

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Dawid Fikus created the specimen 10177 in Eurasian Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

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Dawid Fikus created the specimen 10176 in Common murre (Uria aalge)

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Dawid Fikus created the specimen 10175 in Common murre (Uria aalge)

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Benjamin Großheide uploaded a new image to 10017 inside Elegant Crested-Tinamou (Eudromia elegans)

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10173 in Black-faced Bunting (Emberiza spodocephala) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10172 in Black-faced Bunting (Emberiza spodocephala) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10171 in Black-faced Bunting (Emberiza spodocephala) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10170 in Black-faced Bunting (Emberiza spodocephala) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10169 in Black-faced Bunting (Emberiza spodocephala) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10168 in Black-faced Bunting (Emberiza spodocephala) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10167 in Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10166 in Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10165 in Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10164 in Pallas's Bunting (Emberiza pallasi) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10163 in Rock bunting (Emberiza cia) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10162 in Rock bunting (Emberiza cia) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10161 in Rock bunting (Emberiza cia) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10160 in Rock bunting (Emberiza cia) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

Random specimens