Feathers vary widely in their shape and size and are one of the defining characteristics of birds. Feathers perform many functions for birds which include flight in most species, thermoregulation, waterproofing in marine species, and communication and camouflage via their colour.

Thank you to all the photographers that submitted photos of bird feathers, your pictures can create awareness about the variety of feathers that birds use. Here we present the Top 25 photographs from this week’s theme.

A different view of the tail feathers of an Indian peacock (Vishwas Thakker)

Black-naped terns are found in tropical and subtropical areas of the pacific and Indian Oceans, the length of their wings is 21-23cm (Lil’tography Lilian Sng)

The green-breasted mango is a hummingbird species found in tropical America, they feed on insects and nectar, and males have glossy green upperparts (Ganesh Rao)

Close up of a purple sunbird preening its feathers (Shayan Bose)

The Himalayan vulture is found in the Himalayas and is one of the two largest Old World vultures, they are listed as near threatened due to ingestion of livestock meat that has had certain anti-inflammatory drugs given to the livestock (Jyotsana Jetley Nirula)

Ring-billed gulls breed in Canada and the northern United States, their head, neck and underparts are white, and their long wings extend past the tail when perched (Kelly Hunt)

Grey breasted prinia males and females have similar plumage, they are found in open woodland and scrub jungle where they feed mainly on insects (Jasvir Faridkot)

The White-throated mountain-gem is a hummingbird species that breeds in the mountains of western Panama, the males have bright colours while the females lack the bright crown and throat (Anne Harlan)

Black-tailed godwit ruffling its feathers in Mangalajodi, Orissa, India (Binit Chatterjee)

A close up view of the variety of colours seen on the backside of a green-tailed sunbird in Lava West Bengal, India (Soumya Chakraborty)

Egyptian vultures have overall white plumage with black flight feathers in their wings, they are listed as endangered due to reduced food availability and habitat change (Ajay Singh Rajawat)

Calliope hummingbirds are native to the United States and Canada and the males have red streaks on their throats as seen here (Tim Nicol)

An Indian peafowl can look beautiful even when photographed from behind while dancing (Deepak Singla)

Grey-headed swamphens are native to southern Asia, photographed here in Pune, Maharashtra, India (Anvita Paranjpe)

Mallard duck burying its head in its feathers, photographed in Louisiana, USA (Rhonda Lane)

Martial eagles have a wingspan range of 188 to 260 cm, they have dark brown upperparts, with white underparts with black-brown spotting, photographed in Masai Mara, Kenya (Raghavendra Joshi)

Portrait of a Himalayan monal and its beautiful iridescent feathers, males have multi-coloured plumage while female plumage is more subdued (Kalyani Kapdi)

Crimson sunbirds are 11cm in length and only adult males have the crimson breast and maroon back, these birds are nectar feeders found in southern tropical Asia (Ananth Ramasamy)

The wingspan of the sarus crane ranges from 220 to 250 cm, their body and wing feathers are grey, while their head is mostly red (Kumar Kumud Gangesh)

The yellow-brown feathers of the scaly laughingthrush as seen from behind (Saptarshi Mukherjee)

Mandarin duck males in breeding plumage are quite colourful, the females are dull in comparison, after breeding the males moult into eclipse plumage and have plumage colouration similar to females (Leslie Reagan)

White Bellied sea eagles have dark feathers on their back and wings, and white on their head, rump and underparts (Avijit Dutta)

Shining sunbird photographed in Salalah, Oman (Dr SS Suresh)

White-spotted fantail spreading its tail feathers in Conoor, Tamilnadu, India (Ravi Muthuswamy)

Colourful wood duck photographed in Orange, California, USA (Barbara Wallace)

Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!