Lookup NU author(s): Dr Chris Redfern
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Sedge Warblers Acrocephalus schoenobaenus are reported to have no partial post-juvenile moult before migration, but this is uncertain and controversial. To resolve this issue, feather growth and development was studied in nestling, juvenile and 1st-calendar-year Sedge Warblers. Two phases of feather growth, representing growth of juvenile feathers in the main feather tracts of nestlings, and, within a few days of fledging, the later growth of feathers along the margins of the mid-dorsal tract, the ventral apterium and under-wing remigial coverts, are described. In addition, replacement of some dorsal-tract juvenile feathers was observed in 19% of birds and may represent the initiation of post-juvenile moult. These data indicate that a proportion of juvenile Sedge Warblers in northern England may initiate post-juvenile moult before migration. This observation is discussed in the context of strategies for moult, dispersal and migration in Acrocephalus species and highlights the need for a greater understanding of the physiological control of moult in relation to dispersal and migration.
Author(s): Redfern, C.P.F., Alker, P.J.
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Journal of Avian Biology
Print publication date: 01/06/1996
ISSN (print): 0908-8857
ISSN (electronic): 1600-048X
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