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Many bird owners find themselves with seemingly endless supplies of molted feathers once a year. These bright, shimmering treasures are too pretty to throw away. Here are a few craft ideas for using the cast off feathers of your pet birds.

Create gift vases or baskets: Stick a few parrot feathers in a pretty vase or incorporate them into small floral arrangements. Feathers add a touch of whimsy to an otherwise ordinary display.

Bookmarks: Cockatiels, with their long, graceful tail feathers, contribute lovely bookmarks. So do conures, macaws and Amazons. The beautiful colors of the feathers will be eye-catching peeking from the pages of a favorite book.

Head scratchers: The pointed end of the quill makes a great head scratcher! It's not too sharp and doesn't bend too easily so it's perfect for a little scratching action. You might even make a back scratcher if your pet bird is a macaw!

Mail enclosures: Try slipping smaller feathers into letters or cards, especially when writing to another bird owner. What a fun thing to find in your mailbox!

Dream catchers: Weave or tie different colored bird feathers into dream catchers. They add mystique and interest to any such craft.

Make a Fashion Statement with Feather Jewelry: Feathers can be used in earrings, incorporated into necklaces or bracelets, or fashioned into lovely pins. Stylish!

Hair decorations: You can make exciting hair ornaments with feathers. Simply purchase a large metal hair clip and some strong glue and beads or ribbons. See what interesting fashion item you can design.

Christmas ornaments: Glue feathers onto colorful Styrofoam balls, then insert sturdy hangers. Create one for each bird lover on your list.

The crafty things you can do with your bird's molted feathers are limited only by your imagination. Have fun!