The first comprehensive review of all aspects of the biology of molt, drawing information from across the literature and in all birds, from penguins to passerines.
Feathers are amazing structures. All birds need to renew their feathers periodically, in a process called molt. Because feathers can only be renewed as a whole, all functions of the plumage are impaired during molt, and so this process has a crucial impact on most aspects of a bird's life. Therefore the period of molt is one of the most important recurring annual events in the life of a bird, together with reproduction and, for many, migration. Given the major impacts of this process on birds, molt remains a sorely neglected field of ornithological research. This book, written by the internationally renowned ornithologists Lukas Jenni and Raffael Winkler, seeks to redress this.
Early chapters provide an overview of the functions of plumage. Later, it moves on to subjects such as plumage maintenance and feather wear, the two main functions of molt; feather-growth, the physiology, energetics and control of molt; and how molt affects plumage quality, structural quality and coloration, and the consequences of this for the bird. The book concludes with a review of the various solutions developed by birds to fit molt into their annual cycle.
Complementary to the magnificent molt and Ageing in European Passerines by the same authors and packed with color photography throughout, The Biology of molt in Birds is the first comprehensive review of all aspects of the biology of molt, drawing information from across the literature and in all birds, from penguins to passerines.