Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Feather Weight

Just about the time the goslings are getting their flight feathers as well as their tail feathers the adults begin to MOLT. [Completely shed and replace their flight feathers]. Of course we have one Mom G, actually the one that hatched the first group of goslings, nesting again. Am curious if she will molt along with the other adults, or after she is off her second nest. Gestation is 25 to 28 days. The first two eggs are infertile, take them away and cook them. We enjoy watching our Geese and over the years it is fairly evident they are very social as well as caring parents. Some times they are just down {ha ha pun intended] amusing to watch!
Moulting in birds is a comparatively slow process, as a bird never sheds all its feathers at once; it must keep enough of its feathers to regulate its body temperature and repel moisture. Some species of wild bird become flightless during an annual "wing moult" and must seek protected habitat with a reliable food supply during that time. The process of moulting in birds is as follows:
The bird begins to shed some old feathers Pin feathers grow in to replace the old feathers As the pin feathers become full feathers, other feathers are shed This is a cyclical process that happens in many phases. In general, a moult begins at a bird's head, progresses down the body to its wings and torso, and finishes with the tail feathers.

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