Monday, September 03, 2012
I found this messed up feather in Alice's room this morning. She has plucked it before it was finished growing, so a new feather will grow in in its place.
I suspect this is the feather that was bleeding a few weeks ago, due to the gob of stuff at the pinched part of the shaft. And notice that the vane of the feather below the pinch is broken off straight across at that point. This is called a fault bar or a stress mark. It indicates some kind of stress (food or otherwise) or injury. Sometimes fault bars are simply a weak point in the vane of the feather and sometimes they break, as they did here.
Apparently Alice decided this feather wasn't good enough so she plucked it. This will trigger a new feather to grow in its place, which hopefully will be perfectly normal.
Ain't it amazing how nature works?