First signs of molt – Dunlin & Black-bellieds

by Lanny McDowell on April 13, 2010

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These may all be birds that have been on Martha’s Vineyard over the winter … or not.  The Dunlin numbers seem about the same out on Katama Bay.  The BBPL numbers I think are  expanding.  In any case, both species are showing the beginnings of a molt into alternate plumage.  For the most part,this means just a few black belly or breast feathers replacing the basic winter ones.  Some Dunlin are appearing more red-backed than gray-brown.  Most are still rather dull.  Here & there you see a Black-bellied with a significant amount of black coming in, but that is still the exception.

These birds are feeding on the flats inside Katama Bay along the Norton Point area.

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Birds are cool!  Lanny

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{ 1 comment }


Soo 04.14.10 at 10:10 am

It is always a treat to see your photos, especially when they show us something about bird plumages, behavior or beauty. Keep up the good work!

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