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Our planet is very diverse and it is estimated that there are approximately 8.7 million species of living beings, but did you know that only 15% of all living beings found on the planet have been described? In addition, there are a large number of physical characteristics that are extraordinary and unique to some groups of animals. For example, feathers, which although there have been several animals that have had them throughout the history of evolution, such as the flying reptiles of prehistory, currently only have birds.

In this AgroCorrn article we will only talk about animal species that have plumage. Read on if you want to know 25 feathered animals, their names, characteristics and photos .

What are feathered animals

All those species of animals that have plumage, that is, that have feathers, are classified within vertebrates. When we talk about feathered animals we are talking about birds . These animals are the only ones that have feathers and occupy practically any available habitat, because they have two great characteristics. The main characteristics of feathered animals or birds are the plumage itself and that they are endothermic:

  • The feathers and the modification of the two forelimbs in the wings , more or less large and strong depending on the species. Both are decisive characteristics in its ability to fly.
  • Birds are endothermic animals , this means that they are able to regulate the heat of their body and keep it at a stable temperature and, in fact, the feathers help them in thermoregulation.

We recommend this other AgroCorrn article to learn more about the Characteristics of birds .

Types of bird feathers and what they are for

As mentioned before, feathers are a characteristic of birds defined by the ability to fly , but they also have other functionality depending on the type of feather we are talking about. For example, feathers work as a thermal insulator, to give protection, to give color and shape to birds, etc. Here are the types of pens and what they are for in more detail:

  • Flight feathers: these types of feathers are involved in the bird’s ability to fly and are found on its tail and wings. They are feathers that are characterized by their hardness and asymmetry.
  • Contour feathers: these protect the bird from the rain as they cover its entire body. They are feathers that stand out for their softness, give color and mark the silhouette of the bird.
  • Semi- feathers : these feathers are located under the contour feathers and function as an insulator, protecting the bird from cold temperatures and the sun’s rays.
  • Down: also like semi-feathers, they function as thermal insulation and also thanks to this plumage, waterfowl float. It is exactly next to the skin of the bird.
  • Feathers: like semi-feathers, they are also found under contour feathers, and have a sensory function.
  • Bristles: they are a type of sensory feather that can be found in the environment of the beak of insectivorous birds, and thanks to the sensory function of this type of feather, the bird detects insects.

Examples of feathered animals that fly

For starters, we’ll talk about some of the species of feathered animals that can fly .

  • Woodpecker
  • Cuckoo or cuckoo
  • House sparrow
  • Medium serreta
  • European alcotán
  • Golden Eagle
  • Swift
  • Peacock
  • Hummingbird
  • Superb lyre bird
  • Flemish
  • Macaw
  • Toucan
  • Mandarin Duck
  • Shoebill

Next, we will cite the characteristics of some of these birds that fly and here below you can see the photos of the rest of the species on the list.


The feathers of this type of bird are bright and striking colors, although it depends on the places they are inhabiting. There are specimens of woodpecker or Picidae that have red and beige feathers , however others of yellow and pink color can also be found.

Cuckoo or cuckoo

The cuckoo or cuckoo ( Cuculidae ) is a small bird, it has a long, tapered tail and wings. The plumage of the males is dominated by different shades of gray on the head, neck and back. The ventral parts are white. On the other hand, the females may have a plumage similar to that of the male or reddish, although the latter is not so frequent.

House sparrow

The house sparrow or Passer domesticus is a bird that can be found both in rural areas and in cities. In the plumage between male and female it is different, the colors of the male are more vivid also in reproductive season they show a bright and beautiful bib to attract females.

Medium serreta

The medium serretta or Mergus serrator is an aquatic bird in which the plumage of the male has black feathers on the head and gray with white on the body, however the females are of a reddish tone. The only feathers that have the same color are the secondary ones that are white. This species is very fast when it takes flight.

Discover more Waterfowl: characteristics, types, names and photos here.

European alcotán

The plumage of this bird is made up of 3 colors; its chest is covered by brown feathers, its wings are gray, as well as its face, although it also has white feathers. The European alcotán or Falco subbuteo is a small bird and its wings end in a point.

Golden Eagle

The golden eagle or Aquila chrysaetos is a bird of prey that approximately reaches up to 280 km / h. The color of its plumage is dark brown, and it differs from other eagles in that its legs are also covered by feathers. The feathers on its head are golden as well as on the shoulders and the ends of the tail are white.

Meet many more feathered animals that are birds of prey with this other article in which you will meet 112 birds of prey or raptors: types, names and photos .


Another of the feathered animals on this list is the Apus apus or swift, it is not as fast as the golden eagle, but it also reaches speeds of 200 km / h and they are almost always in the air since their diet is made up of insects. Its wings are large and its legs short.

Examples of feathered animals that do not fly

After meeting the birds that fly, we now expose the animals with feathers that do not fly or birds that do not fly :

  • Penguin
  • Ostrich
  • Kiwi
  • Chicken
  • Domestic duck
  • Rhea
  • Kakapo
  • Cassowary
  • Cormorant mancon
  • Kagú

In this photo you can see the mancón cormorant ( Phalacrocorax harrisi ) and the kagú ( Rhynochetos jubatus ), in the following sections you will get to know the rest of the birds on this list better and, in addition, we recommend this other article about 10 birds that do not fly to expand plus this information.


Although penguins cannot fly , they live in aquatic areas and that is why they have developed their fins to become great swimmers. In addition, they have a tail that makes them maintain balance when walking. The penguins or Spheniscidae live in colonies where live up to a thousand individuals.


In this bird the plumage differs between male and female, the male has black feathers on the body and white feathers on the tail and wings. The female however has grayish or light brown feathers. Although ostriches cannot fly because of their large size, small wings in proportion, and because of their loose and drooping feathers, these do allow them to balance their movements. In addition, the ostrich or Struthio camelus reaches speeds of about 65 km / h.

Kiwi, one of the best known non-flying feathered animals

The kiwi or Apteryx is an endemic species of Australia, it is a small bird with an elongated and curved beak, its plumage is somewhat curious since instead of feathers it seems that it has hair. The kiwi does not fly , but it reaches great speeds. Their inability to fly may be due to the fact that their wings are too small , reaching approximately 3 centimeters.

Discover more feathered animals in this other post about 20 Australian birds: names and pictures .


The cassowary or Casuarius is essential for various forest ecosystems. It is an animal with feathers that is characterized by a plumage that looks like a feathered coat, which they use, in addition to their thermoregulation, to give warmth and protection to their young. It is also characterized by having a blue head with a hard crest on top of the head and by having a red stripe on the neck. They are large and heavy birds, similar to ostriches, and therefore they are birds that do not fly .


The kakapo or Strigops habroptilus is an endemic species of New Zealand with nocturnal behavior that uses its green colored feathers to be able to camouflage itself in the forests. The kakapo is the only parrot that does not fly in the world, as it is a large parrot.

Domestic duck

Within the species of ducks, in general there are the domestic and the wild duck and these differ in that the domestic ( Anas platyrhynchos domesticus ) has lost its ability to fly . After so many centuries of domestication, the species has adapted and has lost the strength in its wings, since they are shorter and lighter.


Although the plumage of chickens ( Gallus gallus domesticus ) is not useful for flying, it does protect them from climatic factors, such as cold and heat, as well as from the blows they may suffer. Chickens are flightless birds , although they hover and glide, they live in hierarchy and are territorial.

We recommend you read this other post by AgroCorrn about Poultry: types and examples . Also, if you liked meeting all these feathered animals and you like birds, you may be interested in meeting these 13 singing birds .

Maria Anderson

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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