SPOTTED TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis)

Last year I picked up 3 tiny feathers from my apartment balcony tiles.

They were fluffy and soft like those from the under-feathers of a newly born chick.  I tucked them gently into a box in my desk drawer and forgot about them, but one day I imagined actually photographing them in some interesting creative manner that might appeal to fellow nature lovers or bloggers.

It never happened.

Until last night when I was peering intently at the 9″ digital screen on my microscope.  I’d re-discovered the feathers while cleaning out the drawer and was keen to see them ‘up close & personal.’

I was fascinated to see that the spots on the neck feathers of a Spotted Turtle-dove were actually pure white as though someone had randomly painted spots on the bird’s feather(s) or bleached circles of white.


I don’t know quite what I expected to see.  Separate white feathers?  Do we generally think about the patterns on a bird’s feathers?  Probably not!

What could I expect to see in the detail of the soft downy chick’s feather.  I don’t think this microscope is designed to see 3-dimensional specimens that have this  thickness and width.

To be honest, it was very hard for me (with thick glasses) to get a really sharp focus on these fine feathers.   I’ve done much better with more solid flat subjects recently.

The feathers (and glass slide which I’d thoroughly cleaned with isopropyl alcohol wipes I use on my glasses) were surprisingly dirty.   I erased the worst of the obvious spots in the background after I transferred them to my iMac.

……and what details showed up on the tiny feather.  Not much more than what was visible to the naked eye, but I was interested to see that the end of the feather (below) looked like it had been cut straight with a pair of scissors.   It was a natural shape, not made by me.


10 thoughts on “SPOTTED TURTLE-DOVE (Streptopelia chinensis)

  1. My favorite image is the squared-off feather. I’m so accustomed to thinking of feathers as tapered, or perhaps just downy, that was a real surprise. The white dots reminded me of peacock feathers. I suppose those dots might help in some way with camouflage — or not. They certainly are interesting.

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    1. I specifically bought the Saxon digital microscope with an in-built camera to act as an extension of my photography hobby and blogging site. Took me quite a while to be able to put the tiny memory card in the slot though. You push it in and out with your fingernail. You can’t push the memory card in with your finger like on a camera.

      I just transfer all the images to my computer as I haven’t learned how to use the microscope’s photo editing software yet (and probably never will as the icons and sliders are small). Secondly, why would I use the 9″ digital screen for photo editing when I’ve got a 27″ high-resolution iMac which is so easy to read (for me).

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  2. Hey there! Came across your post on the WordPress feed and couldn’t resist saying hello. I’m already hooked and eagerly looking forward to more captivating posts. Can’t seem to find the follow button, haha! Guess I’ll have to bookmark your blog instead. But rest assured, I’ll be keeping an eye out for your updates!

    Thanks – TheDogGod

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