Discovering New Areas Where Birds Molt (May 2018)
Molt is an energetically-taxing phase of life for birds. Months of wear cause their feathers to deteriorate, so most birds refresh their plumage at least once a year, often between breeding and fall migration. For a long time, it was assumed that most North American landbirds molt close to where they nest, but as shown in a new paper by IBP, which was featured in Audubon Magazine online, more birds rely on special molting locations than was previously realized. The study used 17 years of records from IBP’s MAPS Program, including data from more than 760,000 capture records of 140 species of landbirds collected at 936 MAPS stations.