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Thread subject: Question re: molting
Name Date Message
Nancy L 03/24/05 03:05 pm Is there any data verifying that the feather pattern changes with molting?
Tiger 03/24/05 03:10 pm I have never seen this topic discussed before! Guess that there is a first time for everything.

karen 03/24/05 04:11 pm I think I read that the full molt takes 5 years ? but will check this at home tonite
Cecilia 03/24/05 05:15 pm I haven't read anything one way or another but I have seen differences with my pet cockatiels. One of them usually has two spots on the back of his nape but when the spotted feathers fall out the spots are missing until they grow back. Since they molt a feather here and a feather there it can be a month or so before a spot returns. That's what made me think that this years male might be Dennis. The black patch on his head is fairly similar to the black patch of last years male and it connects to the black feathers on the right side of his head...just like it shows in still shots I got of Dennis last year. But none of the pictures that I can "Grab" from the video are clear enough to do a really accurate comparison so it's pretty hard to tell how similar/dissimilar the two males are...

Maybe someoone else in our "family" has more info?
Cecilia 03/24/05 05:32 pm Right after I posted the above I saw Karen's post and realized that I have Poole's book so I should look up molting :-) Here's what he said:

"Ospreys molt their primary feathers gradually and in successive waves, starting at the innermost primary on each wing and working out to the tip. In this way, selection has ensured that only a few of each wing's aerodynamically important feathers are molted at once, and that adjacent wing feathers are never molted together. Molt stops just before migration and, for most male Ospreys, during the breeding season. Apparently hunting for a family demands the same peak flight efficiency that migration does."

What this seems to say is that Dennis would have molted before leaving his winter home and probably won't molt again until late summer. I looked in the index and didn't find any reference to markings. I'll keep looking in my other bird books.
Nancy L 03/24/05 05:36 pm But the above seems to be just in relation to the wings. What about the head feathers??
Cecilia 03/24/05 05:49 pm I know...he doesn't mention any other feathers. There is a word for this kind of molt that I just can't remember right now but I think I have read that it applies to all of the different types of feathers that they have.

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Sat Feb 18, 2006