Sunday, September 02, 2012

It's That Time of Year

No, I'm not talking about fall migration, although that is certainly moving into top gear at present. I'm talking about molting season- when our resident birds get rid of old feathers and grow in new ones.

On the college campus the Great-tailed Grackles currently do not have their spectacular great tails. Many have no tails left at all, like this one I saw on Friday.

Another was doing a little better in the tail department but much less well with its head feathers.

Even hawks have to go through the indignityof the molt cycle. Yesterday on the Katy Prairie a female Red-tailed (that we watched being harassed by a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher) looked very odd without her normal dark head feathers.

In our yards the adult Northern Cardinals are far from looking their best.

Meanwhile the latest brood of juveniles haven't yet grown into full adult plumage.

This Red-bellied Woodpecker, busy grooming in our front yard, appeared to be doing well as far as plumage was concerned.

And at least one of our Downy Woodpeckers is still looking as beautiful as ever.


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