|To:||Philip Veerman <>|
|Subject:||The Drought, the Fires: some observations on plumage and feeding behaviours|
|From:||Steve Read <>|
|Date:||Tue, 10 Mar 2020 11:17:27 +0000|
I saw something similar to Con over the weekend. In a MFF at Newline, the several Striated Thornbill all looked scruffy, untidy, almost bedraggled although dry. However, birds of other species in that flock, including all the other thornbills and especially a young White-throated Gerygone, were very well groomed, neat and tidy. I put the difference down to the stage of moult, but interesting to hear that there are alternative explanations.
On Tue, 10 Mar 2020 at 10:06 pm, Philip Veerman <> wrote:
Sometimes birds (I know of this from raptors) show weakened sections of feathers if they go through hardship (normally lack of food) at the time that those feathers are growing. So it is something that happened weeks or months ago. It shows as thinner bands across the feathers, or if you are holding the bird or the feather you can sometimes feel the difference. Sometimes if bad then presumably the feathers might break or fray at that point. That could easily be what Con has seen. To be able to see it on free small birds would appear to be extreme. This is different from the bird currently being in moult.
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