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1 December 2008 Methods for correcting plumage color fading in the Barn Swallow
Masaru Hasegawa, Emi Arai, Mamoru Watanabe, Masahiko Nakamura
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Abstract

It is necessary to correct plumage color fading when comparing the plumage coloration of birds captured at different times during the breeding season. We proposed two methods for correcting plumage color fading and compared them using the throat feathers of the Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica gutturalis). One method uses the color shift of feathers on live birds during the same breeding season (the field method). The other method uses longitudinal color measurements of feathers placed on the open ground (the experimental method). This method has an advantage of not capturing the birds twice. The field and experimental methods estimated similar rates of fading of hue and brightness. Saturation was predicted to fade with time in the experimental method, which is unrealistic because there was no effect of time on saturation in live birds. Using the field method, we derived an equation for correcting plumage color fading in Barn Swallows. When assessing changes in plumage color, the field method should be used whenever possible since this method estimates plumage color fading in live birds.

Masaru Hasegawa, Emi Arai, Mamoru Watanabe, and Masahiko Nakamura "Methods for correcting plumage color fading in the Barn Swallow," Ornithological Science 7(2), 117-122, (1 December 2008). https://doi.org/10.2326/1347-0558-7.2.117
Received: 16 July 2008; Accepted: 5 October 2008; Published: 1 December 2008
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KEYWORDS
barn swallow
Bird coloration
Plumage color fading
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