Re: Moult

Subject: Re: Moult
From: "Ken Rogers" <>
Date: Fri, 15 May 1998 19:01:52 +1000
Some Rufous and Grey Fantail facts for non environmental physiologists from
banding studies in
southern  Victoria and observations in our own patch of wet sclerophyll

     Grey Fantails spend about 9 to 10 months of the year in southern  Vic
(some don't leave
at all).  Rufous Fantails spend only 5 months of the year in Vic, arriving,
about one week before the twitchathon (end of Oct).

     Grey Fantails are far more widespread in Vic than Rufous Fantails but
where they overlap
they share the same habitat.

     Grey Fantails  breed from early Sep to late Dec, possibly later.
      Rufous Fantails breed from Nov to Jan.

     Grey Fantails moult everything (not just primaries) from Jan to early
April.  Most leave
at the end of May, but a few remain all year - probably immatures.
     Rufous Fantails do not moult anything before they leave at the end of
March and none as
far as we know stay behind.  We did catch a moulting adult  at Paluma in
northern Queensland
in May but, of course, have no idea if it was a migrant or not.

     Grey Fantails almost certainly raise more than one brood a year.
      Rufous Fantails that breed in Vic probably don't.

     A possible reason could be that Rufous Fantails are basically 'warm
weather' birds that
take advantage of the the warm to hot weather in the south when they arrive
in late spring and
they leave in early autumn to avoid the cold conditions later.

     Stephen,  there is an excellent account of nomenclature of plumage and
moult in the
Introduction in Volume One part A of HANZAB.  The moult scheme of Humphrey
and Parkes
is explained in detail and is has been used in the all Plumages and Related
Matters  sections.   In
it you will find that the magic word is 'pre-basic'.

     Annie Rogers

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