Bird Word: breeding plumage
- Breeding plumage: feathers that are usually more brightly coloured than non-breeding feathers and which appear during the breeding season.
Just when beginner birders think they have a handle on identifying the birds common around their home and immediate district, along comes the breeding season. Here in Australia that is often late winter, through spring and into summer, from August through to about February, though this differs greatly between species. Some species seem to be able to breed around the year, and do so.
The problem this poses for the newbie birder is that some species take on quite different plumage patterns. The male Superb Blue Wren, for example, takes on a brilliant coat of colours during breeding.
It’s all rather confusing, actually.
Just another reason to have at least one good field guide, and to study it carefully.
For more in this series of articles check out the Glossary of Bird Words here.