The properties of bird feathers as converse piezoelectric transducers and as receptors of microwave radiation. II. Bird feathers as dielectric receptors of microwave radiation

Biotelemetry. 1975;2(6):354-64.


The characteristics of bird feathers as receptors of microwave fields were investigated in the 10- to 16-GHz region. Experiments were conducted coupling the specimen (feather) to a length of waveguide which served, together with other microwave components, as a primary detector. Microwave power radiation patterns were measured both in the presence and in the absence of the specimen. Results indicated a substantial increase in the microwave power collected in the forward direction and a decrease of the radiation pattern beam width when the feather was present. Fruthermore, some experiemental evidence indicated the possibility of inducing piezoelectric effects in the specimen by audiofrequency pulse-modulated microwave fields. These results are important in view of (i) the fundamental role that feathers play in the life of birds and (ii) the influence of environmental factors on bird behaviour.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electricity
  • Feathers
  • Microwaves*
  • Models, Theoretical