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Thread subject: Chick feather colors
Name Date Message
Melanie 06/23/05 10:24 am Probably a stupid question and I may end up answering it myself, but here goes. Seeing the 8-9 week chicks on the banding trip, there was still white on the edges of their feathers, but not nearly as much as we see on our chicks right now. Knowing the white edges will diminish, I am wondering if that is an optical illusion because the feathers will get longer and more adult feather will show, or do the feathers actually change colors as they mature? Ont eh banding trip I notice in the 5th nest that the chicks have no white at the edge of their tailfeathers and last year we did not see evidence of any stray feathers in the nest.
Cecilia 06/23/05 01:52 pm I think I've read that 2 things happen... 1. That as they mature their new feathers grow in with out the white tips (next year) and 2. That the white edges begin to wear off the older they get...like by the time they leave the nest this fall they won't look nearly as speckled as they do now. Remember how last year it got hard to tell at first glance who you were looking at in certain light?
Melanie 06/23/05 02:05 pm So it's not so stupid to think the edges of the feathers actually do wear off which is what I was originally thinking but thought it was too dumb a concept!
Anne 06/23/05 05:29 pm I dont know if this applies to ospreys, but we did plumage and moult sequences at my night school class recently. They are:- down plumage, postnatal moult, juvenile plumage, post juvenile moult, first winter plumage - and in the case of migrating birds the post juvenile moult takes place in mid-winter. I used to wonder why juvenile plumage differed from adult but in the case of ospreys its obvious - camouflage.

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 18, 2006