We examined 135 specimens and analyzed 1,735 captures of indigenous American Samoan landbirds, of nine target species in seven families, to document molt patterns, assess the extent of molt-breeding overlap, and present criteria to determine age. Preformative molts varied from absent to complete, and there was no confirmed evidence for prealternate molts. Molt strategies, age-determination criteria, and remigial replacement sequences were largely consistent with those of other temperate and tropical bird species within the same families. Suspended and/or arrested molts were recorded in seven species and staffelmauser or stepwise molt in two species, including the first report in a passerine. Our data suggest that staffelmauser and suspension of molt in passerines may share a common underlying mechanism. Despite broad overlap of breeding and molting seasons at the population level, we observed little evidence of molt-breeding overlap at the individual level. We suggest that molt and accompanying restoration processes may take precedence over breeding, as indicated by well-defined molting seasons despite apparent year-round or bi-modal breeding in some of our species. Tropical landbird species appear to be capable of suspending molt to breed when environmental conditions shift to facilitate successful reproduction.
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