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Old Tuesday 19th September 2017, 19:03   #1
zoutedrop
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aberrant molt of rectrices

Typically tail molt starts from the inside out,
that is, R1 then R2, etc. It is also typical that
the rectrices fall in matched pairs. A couple of
days ago I did a patio census and caught two
young males with an asymmetrical molt. I
have been doing this for years and can assure
you this is highly unusual. The first is a RUHU
and the second is a BCHU.
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Last edited by zoutedrop : Tuesday 19th September 2017 at 19:38.
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Old Wednesday 20th September 2017, 12:26   #2
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All birds can drop tail feathers through trauma i.e being caught, I've witnessed it, could this be a factor here?

Strange that these two birds have an identical moult pattern though?


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Old Wednesday 20th September 2017, 19:34   #3
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I have collected a number of asymmetrical tail photos and all of
them have a right side bias. I also thought that something was
up. There is a species is South America, the Long-tailed Hermit,
that asymmetrically molts its rectrices 25% of the time. I could
not find a study that included asymmetry for a US hummer.

In prior postings the issue of injury came up. I can see that
happening for two or three feathers, but for all five on one side
for two birds is a bit tough to accept.

I am interested in your tail injury experience.
your experience.
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Old Wednesday 20th September 2017, 20:32   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoutedrop View Post
I have collected a number of asymmetrical tail photos and all of
them have a right side bias. I also thought that something was
up. There is a species is South America, the Long-tailed Hermit,
that asymmetrically molts its rectrices 25% of the time. I could
not find a study that included asymmetry for a US hummer.

In prior postings the issue of injury came up. I can see that
happening for two or three feathers, but for all five on one side
for two birds is a bit tough to accept.

I am interested in your tail injury experience.
your experience.
It's not tail injury, the trauma of being caugfht can cause the instant loss of tail feathers in the hand.


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