What is Bird Moulting?
feather is a "dead" structure, somewhat analogous to hair or nails in
humans. The hardness of a feather is caused by the formation of the protein
keratin. Since feathers cannot heal themselves when damaged, they have to be
completely replaced. The replacement of all or part of the feathers is called a
moult. Moults produce feathers that match the age and sex of the bird, and
sometimes the season.
occurs in response to a mixture of hormonal changes brought about by seasonal
changes. The entire process is complex and many questions remain regarding how
the process is controlled. A basic understanding of moulting patterns can,
however, be a useful aid in identifying many species and in determining their
There are two kinds of moults with different degrees of feather
In a complete moult all feathers are replaced.
In a partial moult only some feathers are replaced.
Damaged feathers are replaced during a moult. A feather that has
been lost completely is replaced immediately.
It takes a lot of energy to build new feathers. Moulting is, therefore, often
timed to coincide with periods of less strenuous demands, such as after nesting
or before migration.Read More