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Molt terminology got you down?

Posted Saturday 8th September 2007 at 16:11 by Chris Benesh
The topic of bird molt came up in the Bird ID Q&A forum today with respect to a bird that was in first-winter feathering in August. Since molt greatly affects the appearance of birds, it is often an issue when trying to figure out the identity of a specific bird. But there are several different systems of terminology that are employed to describe molt, which can create its own confusion. There were a couple of review papers written for Birding magazine in 2003 that are now available online. The first talks about why birds need to molt at all, and some of the factors that affect the timing of molt. The second part explains the modified Humphrey-Parkes system of terminology, which will hopefully become increasingly accepted as the preferred system, and points out some of the limitations of other systems. Together, they are a great way to gain a better understanding of bird molt.

Total Comments 2


Progne Subis's Avatar
Wow, great info! I feel slightly less confused about the whole topic now. Thanks a bunch for posting it here... It goes right along with what I'm reading in Gulls of the Americas now. (Gosh, what doesn't Steven Howell know)
Posted Monday 10th September 2007 at 04:53 by Progne Subis Progne Subis is offline
Chris Benesh's Avatar
You're welcome. Thanks for checking it out. While not light reading, it is certainly good fare for skilled young birders like yourself. Steve Howell has produced some amazing stuff over the years, that's for sure.

Posted Thursday 13th September 2007 at 22:18 by Chris Benesh Chris Benesh is offline
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