Did you know that one bird can have more than 25,000 different kinds of feathers? Birds use these feathers for a lot of important things, like warmth and flying.
As birds fly, their feathers can get damaged. Some birds cope with this by shedding, or molting, their feathers and then by growing new ones. Water birds usually lose all of their feathers at once, however, and cannot fly until they grow back.
Birds are some of the most colorful creatures in the world. Males sometimes use their brightly colored feathers to attract female mates. Colors in a bird’s feathers are either made with a chemical pigment when they grow or from light as it reflects off of the surface of the feathers.
We all may know that birds use their feathers to fly, but did you know that specific feathers are used to make birds fly better? These special feathers are called flight feathers. They also have down feathers to keep them warm, and contour feathers to give the bird's body a surface that makes it easy to fly. Each feather has a purpose.
Everyone knows that birds have feathers—but few know how important they are.
[Source: How Animals Work]