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1 March 2016 Molt patterns, age criteria, and molt-breeding dynamics in American Samoan landbirds
Peter Pyle, Keegan Tranquillo, Kimiko Kayano, Nicole Arcilla
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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.

© 2016 The Wilson Ornithological Society
Peter Pyle, Keegan Tranquillo, Kimiko Kayano, and Nicole Arcilla "Molt patterns, age criteria, and molt-breeding dynamics in American Samoan landbirds," The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 128(1), 56-69, (1 March 2016).
Received: 5 February 2015; Accepted: 1 July 2015; Published: 1 March 2016

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