Feather Mechanics

To: "birding aus" <>
Subject: Feather Mechanics
From: "Evan Beaver" <>
Date: Sun, 21 May 2006 14:09:42 +1000
Birders, some musings while procrastinating...

When a bird comes into breeding plumage what actually must happen. Are
feathers like hair, in that once they're grown the colour can't be changed?
In which case, for a change to breeding plumage the feathers must be shed,
and then a new one grown in it's place, or do they grow the new feathers
before the old ones fall out? It should make for some scruffy looking birds
in their change in that case. I'm mostly wondering because there's a Crested
Pigeon that comes to visit every morning, and it's colour seems to be slowly
changing, becoming more vivid and contrasting, and I'm wondering if I'm
imagining it.

Any ideas?

Evan Beaver
Lapstone, Blue Mountains, NSW
lat=-33.77, lon=150.64

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