ht787's picture

Feathers found on lawn as though from a meal

Observed: 30th December 2011 By: ht787
S159 Neighbourhood Nature - course complete
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I found these and about thirty others like them scattered in an area of lawn approximately 1mx1m, in a way that suggested they were the remains of a meal. There were only feathers (no bones or other body parts); some were broken cleanly at the shaft and there were two sets stuck together (one set I took to be breast feathers, the others wing feathers). The longest are about 20cm long.
Having collected all of the feathers up I was surprised to find another scattering of the same sort on 23/12/2011, in exactly the same place.
Most importantly I would like to know what species they came from - the closest match I can find in a book is grey partridge (NBN shows it recorded in this area, but I have never seen one).
I am also interested in the predator. Foxes, badgers and domestic cats frequent the garden and might have brought it in (having caught or scavenged it).

Species interactions

No interactions present.


chrisbrooks's picture


A hen pheasant.

ophrys's picture


200mm is too long for a partridge feather. The longest primary feather would only be about 130mm on a Grey Partridge. Pheasant is most likely.


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RoyW's picture


The predator would be a mammal (like one of the three suggested) rather than a Sparrowhawk - if you zoom in on the ends of quills you can see that they are not complete (so they are as described). This is inconsistent with Sparrowhawk (or any other avian predator) because these pluck feathers, and is more suggestive of the feathers having been chewed off.