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Animals        < Previous

 

Pheasant Feather Encounter

 

Today's Snack: "Pheasant Under Glass" is a fancy dinner dish. It features baked pheasant served under a glass dome to keep the meat moist. You can have "Plum Under Glass" - a juicy plum served under a plastic cup!

 

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Supplies:

Pheasant feathers (ask a friend who hunts to save you some!)

Large container of water for dunking feathers

Dictionary | Drawing paper and pencils

 

The pheasant's beautiful and elegant feathers are perfect camouflage for grassy meadows. Feathers help pheasants fly short distances. They keep eggs and young birds warm, keep the bird waterproof and help the male attract mates.

 

 

 

A single feather may have one million interlocking parts. The edges fit together like Velcro, to keep the bird warm and dry. Experiment: take a feather, press the fibers of it together with your thumb and forefinger so that it lies smooth, and dunk it in water. See how fast it dries if you shake it? Now, without damaging the feather, break the "seal" with your thumb and forefinger from top to bottom - mess it up - and dunk it again. See how much longer it takes to dry?

 

Besides being good biological design, pheasant feathers are rich in Native American symbolism. The traits that the pheasant feather represent include:

 

         prosperity (because the female lays so many eggs)

         wealth (same reason)

         creativity (because of the male's bright colors and beauty)

         influence (males are so attractive, they may have a "harem" of 3 females)

         resourcefulness (avoiding predators by moving around or staying still)

         refinement (said to have the most beautiful feathers in North America)

         protection and concealment (because they hide in tall grasses)

         sun, solar energy (males are bright red and yellow)

         nobility (a cousin of the peacock)

         virtue (pheasant mothers are very protective of their young)

Choose one of those traits. Look it up in the dictionary. Read the definition. See how to spell it. Now draw your pheasant feather on a piece of drawing paper. Underneath the feather, write the word you chose. Please put the feather back for other students to enjoy. But take your picture home to share!

 

By Susan Darst Williams www.AfterSchoolTreats.com Animals 14 2011

Animals        < Previous
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