Feathered Friend - Mandarin Duck
A neighbour of mine has a large pond that has been frequented by Mandarin Ducks in recent years. One of the males dropped one of its distinctive wing feathers, so I took it to study. There is no doubting where the feather came from, as the shape can clearly be seen in the duck's plumage, but I was surprised to learn quite how asymmetric those feathers are. I was also impressed by the colouring - the feather is rich orange on one side and paler orange on the other, and the short plumes are an iridescent deep blue.