Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Effect of Photoperiod on Molting of Feathers

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1941
Authors:Lesher, SW, S. Kendeigh, C
Journal:The Wilson Bulletin
Date Published:1941
ISBN Number:00435643
Keywords:Passer, Passer domesticus, Passeridae, Zonotrichia, Zonotrichia albicollis
Abstract:1. White-throated Sparrows and a Bob-white, which normally go through a partial pre-nuptial molt in spring as the days are increasing in length, were forced to molt out of season by artificially increasing the length of day, and this was followed by a new growth of feathers. 2. White-throated Sparrows, English Sparrows, and a Bob-white, all of which have a complete post-nuptial molt as days decrease in length in late summer and autumn, were forced into a similar molt out of season by artificially reducing the length of day to which they were exposed. This was followed by a new growth of feathers. 3. The time for beginning the complete molt and the rate at which the feathers were lost were accelerated by increasing the rate at which the length of day was artificially decreased. 4. The total time (65 to 73 days) required to molt feathers and completely grow new ones was approximately the same at all rates of decrease in the photoperiod and irrespective of the rate at which the feathers were lost. 5. The weight of the birds increased when they were placed on a better balanced diet and when they were subjected to longer photo-periods, but it decreased during the progress of molt and renewal of feathers.
Short Title:The Wilson Bulletin
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