When you're sculpting a bird, or anything figurative, you're not "making" feathers, or flesh or fur. You're creating forms that capture and / or reflect light.
It took me a long time to understand this, so I'll say it again - and maybe save you some years learning this basic fact of sculpture.
Though you may think you're sculpting a ducky or a bunny, or whatever, you're not. You're creating forms that capture or reflect light.
Changing how you think about your sculpture will improve anything you sculpt.
Here's a good example from the New York Times of how feathers blend together but break up into larger clusters. These Greater Sulphur Crested Cockatoos are all fluffed up and curious.
I do question the sanity of putting a $1000 dollar handbag and million dollar actress Julianne Moore in the close vicinity of any cockatoo. Once that photographer's flash goes off all hell could break loose...