One of my sister's chickens was killed a few days ago. This feather was left at the scene of the crime. The location was Idaho, near Boise. The death of the chicken leads us to believe it is a hawk or falcon but the vertical brown line has us all scratching our heads. The current belief is it's from a juvenile, but we can't pick out the type.

Does anyone recognize it?

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    $\begingroup$ please add a bit more information like the size of the feather and what time of day/night was the chicken killed and what injuries did it have any information can help identify the bird. $\endgroup$ Mar 8 at 14:13
  • $\begingroup$ Certainly. The feather is 5 inches long. The chicken was killed in the afternoon, the sun was still above the horizon. While I didn't see the carcass, I was told it looked like it had been pecked over and over. Likewise, she owns a very large, very grumpy rooster who was missing some feathers and had his comb ripped, meaning it had to be big enough to take on a large, angry rooster who was trying to defend. $\endgroup$
    – VexingEve
    Mar 8 at 20:08
  • $\begingroup$ perhaps try the feather atlas fws.gov/lab/featheratlas/idtool.php, or reddit/birdwatching reddit birds of prey it's too specialized for here $\endgroup$ Aug 6 at 10:16

1 Answer 1


It's impossible to say definitively from a picture, but the feather looks very much like that of a Barn Owl (Tyto Alba). This also fits with the geographic location of Idaho.

Take a closer look at the trailing edge of the feather, it appears to have the soft "fluffy" edge typical of most owl feathers.

Here's an example that shows the similarity:



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