History: A shuttlecock (also called a birdie) is used to play badminton. The shuttlecock is in the shape of a cone made from overlapping feathers which are embedded into a rounded cork base that is covered in thin leather. In order for the shuttlecock to rotate consistently only the feathers from the left wing of a bird are used. The feathers were easy to damage and would need to be replaced throughout the game. Because of this, synthetic shuttlecocks have been developed which replace the feathers with a plastic skirt.