Birds of Indian Subcontinent

Molt Chronology of American Coots in Winter

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:1999
Authors:S. McKnight, K, Hepp, G
Journal:The Condor
Date Published:1999
ISBN Number:00105422
Keywords:Fulica, Fulica americana, Fulica atra, Rallidae
Abstract:We examined molt chronology of American Coots (Fulica americana) wintering in Alabama. Molt intensity was quantified by converting percentages of developing feathers sampled in 10 feather regions to molt scores (Total Molt Score) and by estimating percentage of total feather mass undergoing molt (%MOLT). Percent occurrence of molting birds was greatest in December (95%) and lowest in January (28%). Molt intensity was higher during October-December than in January and February, with lowest molt intensity occurring in January. This pattern was consistent between Total Molt Score and %MOLT, however, the magnitude of values for Total Molt Score was twice that for %MOLT. We assert that %MOLT provides a more biologically meaningful assessment of molt. Low molt intensity coupled with adequate protein and energy content of the diet resulted in minimal additional nutrient demands due to molt for wintering coots at Guntersville Reservoir.
Short Title:The Condor
Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith