Badminton Birdie vs Badminton Shuttlecock
Badminton was invented in the town of Badminton in England during the late 1800's. Right from the beginning, it involved striking a shuttlecock back and forth across a net with a type of strung rackets. Over the years, shuttlecocks have evolved and are made from a variety of grades of goose feathers and duck feathers. In fact, only the feathers from the left wing of the birds will work because the angle of the feather must be consistent for the badminton shuttlecock to fly and rotate correctly through the air.
Most shuttlecocks are hand made in factories in China and most major brands contract their preferred factory to make certain grades of shuttlecock at target consumer prices. The higher-grade feathers are less plentiful so in keeping with supply vs demand, the high-end international badminton shuttlecock come with a premium price. The base of the shuttlecock can also differ with full natural cork playing and feeing the best but again, commanding a premium price.
Most badminton players around the globe play with natural goose or duck shuttlecocks but in the United States and Canada, synthetic badminton shuttlecocks are very common with one main difference. The synthetic badminton shuttlecocks are more commonly called badminton birdies! Badminton birdies is also a term that is used more among backyard and beach badminton players or recreational players that are more engaged in playing badminton casually or socially.
Badminton birdies are made from nylon or plastic and tend to be more durable than a natural feather shuttlecock. This is important for the less experienced players because they have not developed the skills to consistently hit the sweet spot of the badminton racket which can wear down shuttle quickly. Badminton birdies are also made with a synthetic cork base to help lower the cost and make them more durable. Badminton birdies are usually sold in a tube of 6 compared to 12 shuttlecock.
Like ping pong vs table tennis, shuttlecock vs birdie is more about where and how the game of badminton is played, not about what the game is played with. Junior players that are just beginning to learn how to play most often start and practice with birdies. Many brands offer white or yellow birdies with yellow being the most popular because of their striking contrast against white and light-coloured ceilings and walls in gyms and community centres throughout the United States and Canada.