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Adult moulting during breeding in the New Zealand Fantail, Rhipidura fuIiginosa fuIiginosa


Most birds do not moult and breed simultaneously (Snow and Snow 1964: Payne 1972), however, some overlap between moulting and breeding has been recorded in individuals of at least 120 tropical island bird species (Foster 1975). These two events may overlap when birds take advantage of brief opportunities for breeding. If conditions are suitable for breeding, some birds may either slow the rate of moult so that moult and breeding can occur simultaneously (Jones 1978), or, interrupt the moult altogether, breed and then resume moulting (Fogden and Fogden 1979). New Zealand Fantails, Rhipidura fuliginosa fuliginosa, have been observed to start tail moult during early stages of moult, beginning with the cenhal pair and progressingo utwards (T. Thurley pers.com.). No records have been published on adult moulting in the New Zealand Fantail during breeding.

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