I know that feathers evolved from scales, but I was wondering if a bird could have feathers that kept the scales' "hardiness". For this scenario I want to go over a few things.
Evolution! You may have of heard of it. The idea that changed how we view biology and perhaps life itself. WELL, THROW ALL THAT OUT THE WINDOW BECAUSE WE ARE JUST GOING TO IGNORE IT! If a creature that had feather-like scales existed in the past that I just don't know about it clearly faded or evolved out of it for the more traditional feather, so we are going to ignore evolutionary pressure and just go with the fact that this bird has these just because.
- Our bird model
In this scenario we shall use the harpy eagle as our base of size and mass. Granted, some things might have to change due to the added weight the scale feathers might bring, but the size is something that can't be changed.
- The scale feathers
Now, I don't have a design for the scale feathers or know how much of the body they should cover, but they must at least be on the wings and on the back. We could make it so that there are normal feathers on the wings under the top layer of scale feathers, or perhaps the scale feathers could be hollow to reduce added weight. The scale feathers have too at least be durable enough to prevent a non-bodybuilder from bending them.
This is our main goal: to get this scaly bird into the air! Now to specify, when I say flight, I don't mean gliding, I don't mean slowing descent, I mean true flight. It has to at least be able to fly so much that it uses the gift of flight in its hunting.
So what do you think, people of Worldbuilding StackExchange, can we give this bird a taste of the skies, or would the extra armor stop it from lifting off?