North American Crane Working Group


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Nesbitt, S.A., and S.T. Schwikert. Timing of molt in Florida sandhill cranes. In: Folk, MJ and SA Nesbitt, eds. 2008. Proceedings of the Tenth North American Crane Workshop, Feb. 7-10, 2006, Zacatecas City, Zacatecas, Mexico: North American Crane Working Group. pp. 125-127.


Reproduced by permission of the North American Crane Working Group.


We observed feather molt in Florida sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis pratensis) between 1978 and 1997. We report data from 4 feather groups: remiges, rectrices, wing coverts and contour feathers. In all feather groups, the median date of ecdysis preceded endysis by about 30 days. Endysis in adults was generally later than it was in first- or second-year subadults. Remiges grew at a rate of 4.72 ± 1.56 SD mm per day. We estimated that primary and secondary wing feathers were usually regenerated within 45 to 70 days.