Humeral pen

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As humeral feathers ( Pennae humerales , Parapteron , Remiges tertiarii ) are referred to in the ornithological plumage description, the upper and lower edge feathers in the area of ​​the upper arm. There are three to four feathers that are proximal to the innermost arm wings . In birds with long wings, humeral feathers fill the gap between the body and the arm wings that occurs when the wings unfold.

In some bird species they are characterized by special features that distinguish them from the other arm feathers when they are identified. The best-known example are the humeral feathers of the cranes (Gruinae) , which are made into decorative feathers . In the case of the gray crane ( Grus grus ) they tower over the relatively short tail like a train while the birds are on the ground, brown, gray or anthracite colored. In young birds in the first year of life, this form of plumage is only rudimentary, but it is still very clearly visible.


  • Noble S. Proctor, Patrick J. Lynch: Manual of Ornithology: Avian Structure & Function. Yale University Press, 1993, ISBN 978-0-300-07619-6 , p. 58.