Written by 6:40 am Pet

Why Do Peacocks Lose Their Feathers ?

Feathers are the flight and insulation system of birds. They have been evolving for more than 150 million years, and they have been perfected to provide maximum efficiency in flight, waterproofing, insulation, thermal regulation and camouflage.

Feathers are made of keratin protein. Keratin is also found in hooves, horns, hair and nails. The feathers of birds have a hollow tube running through them that holds air providing insulation while flying or sitting on eggs.

Molt is the term used when birds replace their feathers with new ones. Molt occurs twice a year in most species during the spring and summer season. “Molting” is an umbrella term that refers to both replacement of old feathers for new ones and molt shedding (also called “autumn molt” or “catastrophic molt”). Molting is important because it allows birds to replace worn out feathers with newer stronger ones. Exceptional cases exist where some species may undergo molting only once a year or not at all (e.g., woodpeckers).

Birds molt due to two main reasons: 1) wear-and-tear – old feathers become frayed after many flights or nestlings; 2) feather replacement – when young birds grow up.

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Last modified: August 14, 2022

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