Molt in North American Birds

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010 - Nature - 267 pages

To most observers, molt seems an overwhelming subject. But birders use many aspects of molt more than they realize--to distinguish juvenile birds from adults, to pick out an individual hummingbird from among dozens visiting a feeder, and much more.

And for those whose interest goes beyond simply identifying birds, questions such asWhat triggers molt to start? How fast do feathers grow? and How long do they last? offer a fascinating window into the lives of birds. Put plainly, molt relates in some way to everything a bird does, including where it lives, what it eats, and how far it migrates.

Here, for the first time, molt is presented for the nonscientist. Molt is very orderly and built on only four underlying strategies: simple basic, complex basic, simple alternate, and complex alternate. This book clearly lays out these strategies, relates them to aspects of life history, such as habitat and migration, and makes this important subject accessible.

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Underlying Patterns
Birds in the Real World
Swans Geese and Ducks

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About the author (2010)

STEVE N. G. HOWELL has written more than six books and two hundred papers and book reviews on birds, including Hummingbirds of North America, A Bird-finding Guide to Mexico, and A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America. He has been affiliated with the Point Reyes Bird Observatory for twenty years and is currently a senior birding tour leader for WINGS, Inc.

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