Feathers cover a bird’s body and no other animals have them. According to many scientists, birds developed from reptiles millions of years ago. So, reptiles’ scales became feathers. Tiny hooks hold together the feathers on a bird’s body. At least once a year birds are molting. Feathers are very important to survival. Different kinds of feathers have different purposes. Straight, stiff feathers give birds their ability to fly. Tail feathers help with steering, balance, and braking. Small, fluffy feathers, keep a bird’s body from getting too cold or too hot, and its skin from getting wet.
People in many cultures decorate hats, clothing, and jewelry with colorful feathers. Feathers are also good filling for clothing and pillows for softness and warmth.
The owl’s feathers are designed in such a way that their flight is noiseless. This allows birds to hunt in the dark.