The laser ablation-ICP-MS method was used for a quantitative assessment of the distribution of elements Al, Ba, Ca, Cu, Mg, Mn, Pb, Sr, and Zn in feathers. We analysed the rectrices of first-year red-breasted flycatchers characterized by a black-and-white colouration, which gave the opportunity to examine the content of elements in two aspects: (i) quantitative distribution of elements depending on the analysed part of the feathers; and (ii) direct imaging of elements in the context of variation in feather colouration (black - eumelanin pigment and white free of pigmentation). The results show that distributions of Ca, Cu, Mg, and Zn in the feather shaft were related to melanin pigmentation - concentrations of these elements were significantly higher within black parts. Furthermore, the highest concentrations of Al, Ba, Mn, Pb and Sr were recorded at the end of a shaft - the oldest part of the feathers analysed - which may be connected with the time and dynamic of nestling plumage development. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.