PAPER: Moult and biometrics of adult Southern Red Bishops2010-06-29 (66)
Abstract. Using the SAFRING database and the Underhill-Zucchini model of primary moult, we analysed the timing of wing moult in Southern Red Bishops Euplectes orix in relation to sex and geographical region. Birds from the winter rainfall region in the south-western sector of the Western Cape start the annual moult more than two months before any other population, but there were no significant differences in starting date within the summer rainfall region. There were striking differences in the estimates of moult duration (62-114 d), which did not follow a consistent pattern in relation to sex or geography; annual variation within a region may be an additional factor. Throughout southern Africa, both sexes showed a trend for longer-winged birds to take more time to complete their moult. We suggest that sex, geographical area and possible annual environmental variations may all influence the timing of moult in local populations. In this sexually dimorphic species, males are consistently longer-winged and heavier than females.
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