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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.

2013
species
7670
specimens
17961
images
113855
measurements

recent changes

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10469 in Spectacled Warbler (Curruca conspicillata) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10468 in Spectacled Warbler (Curruca conspicillata) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10467 in Spectacled Warbler (Curruca conspicillata) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10466 in Spectacled Warbler (Curruca conspicillata) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10465 in Cyprus Warbler (Curruca melanothorax) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10464 in Cyprus Warbler (Curruca melanothorax) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10463 in Common Whitethroat (Curruca communis) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10462 in Common Whitethroat (Curruca communis) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10461 in Common Whitethroat (Curruca communis) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10460 in Common Whitethroat (Curruca communis) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10459 in Common Whitethroat (Curruca communis) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10457 in Common Whitethroat (Curruca communis) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10456 in Common Whitethroat (Curruca communis) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10455 in Common Whitethroat (Curruca communis) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10454 in Common Whitethroat (Curruca communis) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10453 in Barred Warbler (Curruca nisoria) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10452 in Barred Warbler (Curruca nisoria) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10451 in Barred Warbler (Curruca nisoria) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10450 in Barred Warbler (Curruca nisoria) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10449 in Barred Warbler (Curruca nisoria) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10448 in Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10447 in Firecrest (Regulus ignicapilla) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10446 in Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10445 in Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10444 in Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10443 in Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10442 in Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10441 in Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10440 in Menetries's Warbler (Sylvia mystacea) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10439 in Western Orphean warbler (Curruca hortensis) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10438 in Western Orphean warbler (Curruca hortensis) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10436 in Western Orphean warbler (Curruca hortensis) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10435 in Eastern Orphean warbler (Curruca crassirostris) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10434 in Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10433 in Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10432 in Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10431 in Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10430 in Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10429 in Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

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Alexander Haase created the specimen 10428 in Marsh Warbler (Acrocephalus palustris) for Wolf-Dieter Busching

Random specimens