Definition of contour feather in English:

contour feather

noun

  • Any of the mainly small feathers that form the outline of an adult bird's plumage.

    • ‘The lining of breeding nests sometimes included small contour feathers of unidentified bird species.’
    • ‘A set of avian feathers have even been found, including a superb fragment of a contour feather.’
    • ‘They often share a follicle with a contour feather.’
    • ‘A contour feather from the tail, as well as a small piece of skin from the abdomen, were removed from the specimen.’
    • ‘The insulation theory is based on the conclusion that primitive feathers were a type of contour feather.’
    plume, quill
    View synonyms