Badminton Birdies

Badminton birdies, or shuttlecocks (sometimes abbreviated to shuttles), are essential pieces of equipment for playing badminton. In the game, the birdie is hit with a racket across the net until one team scores by having it fall on their opponent's side of the net.


What is a Badminton Birdie?

A birdie is made up of a cork base with 16 feathers that are connected to form a cone-like shape. Birdies can be made of various feathers like goose or duck feathers, or a synthetic "plastic" material that looks similar to real feathers. The terms birdie and shuttlecock are used interchangeably to describe the same piece of equipment.

Types of Birdies

Badminton Types of Birdies

Many types of birdies are made from actual feathers, most commonly duck or goose. However, birdies made of plastic are also used often as they provide durability for multiple games. The type of birdie used is more of a preference-based fit for players and teams.

There are three types of shuttlecocks you should know about:

  • Duck Feather Birdies
  • Goose Feather Birdies
  • Plastic Birdies

Duck Feather Birdies

Duck feathers are also used by professionals due to their speed in air and lightweight feel. These are more delicate than goose feather birdies, as duck feathers are not as thick as goose feathers. Because of this, duck feather birdies are more commonly used during training sessions.

Goose Feather Birdies

Goose feathers are more commonly used by professionals in official tournaments. The thick yet lightweight feathers make the birdie more stable in the air. They are ideal for indoor play but can be used outdoors in the proper conditions. Goose feather birdies are often preferred by advanced players because the material reacts better to different types of racket swings.

Plastic Birdies

An alternative to real feather birdies are plastic birdies, made out of material such as nylon. Plastic birdies are cheaper and more durable than feather birdies. They are also unaffected by the weather, as they are water-resistant and do not change shape or weight in the rain. This makes them ideal for practice use, outdoor use, or for beginners who are learning the sport and often break a lot of birdies in the process.

Dimensions and Speed

Birdies should fall between these dimensions in order to be considered official: 62 to 70mm long and 4.74 to 5.5 grams. The system of categorizing birdies used to be centered on weight, but it has since been changed to categorize birdies based on their speed by using numbers or colors. Plastic birdies use colors that denote their particular speed.

Feathered birdies use numbers to denote speed and how far the birdie will go, ranging from 74 (slow speed, use in high altitude) to 79 (fast speed, use in low altitude). Each increase in number represents a 30cm increase in distance the birdie will travel. A 74 will travel the shortest, and 79 will travel the farthest.

Weather Conditions

When trying to decide on which birdie to use, temperature, altitude, and air density all must be considered. If the temperature is hotter where badminton will be played, choose a slower birdie. If altitude is higher, the air density will as a result be lower. This means in high altitude low air density areas, a slower birdie should be preferred.

What are the badminton birdie brands?

Below is a list of some of the most popular brands that make badminton birdies:

  • Aeroplane
  • Carlton
  • Champion Sports
  • Kevenz
  • MacGregor
  • RSL
  • Victor
  • Wilson
  • Yonex
  • Zhenan

Related: Read more about badminton brands.

What are the best badminton birdies?

  1. KEVENZ Goose Feather Badminton Shuttlecocks
  2. Yonex Mavis 2000 Nylon Badminton Shuttlecock
  3. Philonext Badminton Shuttlecocks
  4. Yonex Mavis 350 Shuttlecock
  5. Ohuhu LED Badminton Shuttlecock
  6. Champion Sports Nylon Outdoor Shuttlecocks
  7. FITTEST Advanced Goose Feather Badminton Shuttlecocks
  8. TEOZZO Nylon Badminton Shuttlecocks
  9. MacGregor Tournament Nylon Shuttlecocks
  10. OLENNZ Goose Feather Badminton Shuttlecocks
ImageProductDetails
KEVENZ Goose Feather Badminton ShuttlecocksKevenz Goose Feather Badminton Shuttlecocks
  • Price: $9.98
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Brand: Kevenz
  • Material: Goose Feather
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Yonex Mavis 2000 Nylon Badminton ShuttlecockYonex Mavis 2000 Nylon Badminton Shuttlecocks
  • Price: $25.86
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Brand: Yonex
  • Material: Nylon
See on Amazon
Philonext Badminton ShuttlecocksPhilonext Badminton Shuttlecocks
  • Price: $10.99
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Brand: Philonext Shuttlecocks
  • Material: Nylon
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Yonex Mavis 350 ShuttlecockYonex Mavis 350 Shuttlecock
  • Price: $11-$35
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Brand: Yonex
  • Material: Nylon
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Ohuhu LED Badminton ShuttlecockOhuhu LED Badminton Shuttlecock
  • Price: $11.99
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Brand: Ohuhu
  • Material: Goose Feather
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Champion Sports Nylon Outdoor ShuttlecocksChampion Sports Nylon Outdoor Shuttlecocks
  • Price: $8.59
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Brand: Champion Sports
  • Material: Nylon
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FITTEST Advanced Goose Feather Badminton ShuttlecocksFITTEST Advanced Goose Feather Badminton Shuttlecocks
  • Price: $9.48
  • Rating: 4.3/5
  • Brand: FITTEST
  • Material: Goose Feather
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TEOZZO Nylon Badminton ShuttlecocksTEOZZO Nylon Badminton Shuttlecocks
  • Price: $9.99
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Brand: TEOZZO
  • Material: Nylon
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MacGregor Tournament Nylon ShuttlecocksMacGregor Tournament Nylon Shuttlecocks
  • Price: $12.09
  • Rating: 4.4/5
  • Brand: MacGregor
  • Material: Nylon
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OLENNZ Goose Feather Badminton ShuttlecocksOLENNZ Goose Feather Badminton Shuttlecocks
  • Price: $8.99
  • Rating: 4.4/5
  • Brand: OLENNZ
  • Material: Goose Feather
See on Amazon

1. Kevenz Goose Feather Badminton Shuttlecocks

Kevenz Goose Feather Badminton Shuttlecocks

Specifications:

  • Price: $9.98
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Brand: Kevenz
  • Material: Goose Feather

Kevenz' Goose Feather Shuttlecocks are high-quality birdies that offer more than the others on this list. They are made from advanced goose feathers and feature LED lights that can be switched on and off easily, a great benefit that allows you to play during any time of day and add a little bit of excitement to your games. These birdies are durable and should last you multiple uses. They are affordably sold in a pack of 6 for under $10.

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2. Yonex Mavis 2000 Nylon Badminton Shuttlecock

Yonex Mavis 2000 Nylon Badminton Shuttlecock

Specifications:

  • Price: $25.86
  • Rating: 4.6/5
  • Brand: Yonex
  • Material: Nylon

The Yonex Mavis 2000 Shuttlecocks are a great option for game and tournament use, while still remaining affordable. These birdies are made of nylon and designed to provide accurate flight performance for all badminton players. They are durable and meant to last many uses through any weather conditions.

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3. Philonext Badminton Shuttlecocks

Philonext Badminton Shuttlecocks

Specifications:

  • Price: $10.99
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Brand: Philonext Shuttlecocks
  • Material: Nylon

Philonext Shuttlecocks are a well known brand for badminton equipment. Their shuttlecocks are highly regarded and make a great choice for any player. The composite cork ball head and quality nylon feathers provide stability in air and also durability. At an affordable cost of $11, these will provide you many fun badminton experiences.

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4. Yonex Mavis 350 Shuttlecock

Yonex Mavis 350 Shuttlecock

Specifications:

  • Price: $11-$35
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Brand: Yonex
  • Material: Nylon

The Yonex Mavis 350 is a great option for all levels of players since it is made from Nylon material and very durable. These birdies are very affordable and will last you a long time. They are viewed as one of the best plastic birdies and designed to provide high quality performance whether you are playing indoors or outdoors.

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5. Ohuhu LED Badminton Shuttlecock

Ohuhu LED Badminton Shuttlecock

Specifications

  • Price: $11.99
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Brand: Ohuhu
  • Material: Goose Feather

Ohuhu's LED Shuttlecocks provide a perfect combination of a fun and durable product. They come with 6 color options of LED lights, with a one-button activation to turn on or off easily. This allows you to have fun playing badminton at any time of the day, while also providing solid durability to allow for multiple-time use.

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6. Champion Sports Nylon Outdoor Shuttlecocks

Champion Sports Nylon Outdoor Shuttlecocks

Specifications:

  • Price: $8.59
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Brand: Champion Sports
  • Material: Nylon

Champion Sports' nylon shuttlecocks provide a reliable, name brand option for anyone shopping for a new set of birdies. This model is constructed with nylon feathers for durability, and a nylon base allowing for use outdoors without fear of early wear and tear. At $8.59 per half dozen this is a slightly more expensive option, but the durability and name brand of the product make this a worthy option for badminton players of any experience level.

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7. FITTEST Advanced Goose Feather Badminton Shuttlecocks

FITTEST Advanced Goose Feather Badminton Shuttlecocks

Specifications:

  • Price: $9.48
  • Rating: 4.3/5
  • Brand: FITTEST
  • Material: Goose Feather

FITTEST's Shuttlecocks are made from high quality goose feathers to provide steady air travel. A unique feature is the shuttlecock head, which is made from a bubble ball head that gives it more bounce. This is different from other products, usually made from cork. At a price of under $10 for 12 shuttlecocks, these are a great option for any player.

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8. TEOZZO Nylon Badminton Shuttlecocks

TEOZZO Nylon Badminton Shuttlecocks

Specifications:

  • Price: $9.99
  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Brand: TEOZZO
  • Material: Nylon

TEOZZO nylon shuttlecocks are another strong option for anyone on the market for new badminton birdies. This model features nylon feathers for enhanced durability, allowing repeated use for the buyer. TEOZZO shuttlecocks are also made with a composite cork shuttle, providing a crack resistant front to the birdies for the sake of product longevity. At $9.99 per dozen birdies, this is a solid deal for anyone buying on a budget.

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9. MacGregor Tournament Nylon Shuttlecocks

MacGregor Tournament Nylon Shuttlecocks

Specifications:

  • Price: $12.09
  • Rating: 4.4/5
  • Brand: MacGregor
  • Material: Nylon

MacGregor's Tournament Nylon Shuttlecocks provide stability and durability when used on any surface. These can be used indoor or outdoor play, for practice, or for a game. They are built to last for multiple uses, and are a solid and affordable option for any player.

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10. OLENNZ Goose Feather Badminton Shuttlecocks

OLENNZ Goose Feather Badminton Shuttlecocks

Specifications:

  • Price: $8.99
  • Rating: 4.4/5
  • Brand: OLENNZ
  • Material: Goose Feather

OLENNZ goose feather shuttlecocks are another great option for anyone looking for new badminton birdies. These shuttlecocks are designed with a solid cork head to improve performance regardless of playing conditions, providing a stable and durable playing experience. Another great feature in regard to these birdies is that they come with a 30 Day Customer Satisfaction Warranty, allowing dissatisfied customers to get their money back within 30 days of purchase.

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FAQ

What are the parts of a birdie?

A birdie is made up of two parts, a feather top and a cork base. The feather top is connected to the bottom of the base in a cross pattern and may be made from goose feathers, duck feathers, or plastic (nylon). The materials used for each of these parts may vary, but the overall design is consistent from brand to brand.

How many birdies do I need?

You technically only need one birdie for a game of badminton, but it's always good to have more than one on hand in case a birdie breaks or gets lost.

When should a birdie be replaced while playing badminton?

As a general rule of thumb, if you notice a difference in the birdie's flight movement or distance, it is likely time to replace it with a new one. This is subjective to the type of competition, and team or player preferences.