Step 1: Brainstorming
Flamingo, parrot, toucan, imaginary technicolor falcon! The possibilities are as endless as your imagination.
Choose your colors!
The easiest way to do this is to research your bird. Look through photos to help figure out the main colors that you will be using.
After looking at photos of flamingos I decided to use a light pink as my main color plus a darker pink, red, and white for the other feathers. For the parrot costume, I looked at photos of scarlet macaws which helped me to choose colors and see the placement of those colors on the wings.
At this point, you can also read about your bird for added costume enjoyment! Learn about where your bird is from, what it eats, and how it behaves in its' natural environment so that you can truly get into character once you're all dressed up!
Choose your fabric!
The edges of the feathers and wings are left unfinished, so try to pick something that won't fray too much. When looking at fabric, imagine how it will look as a finished wing. You will probably want something that moves, flows, and flaps nicely. Also, try not to choose anything too heavy since you will be sewing many layers of feathers to each wing.
For my costumes I bought inexpensive, lightweight polyester in bright colors with a satin finish.