Feather development in the chicks of Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus
152 – 156
1 December 09
Lucyna Pilacka, Włodzimierz Meissner, Natalia Karlionova
Avian Ecophysiology Unit, Dept. of Vertebrate Ecology & Zoology, Univ. of Gdańsk, Al. Legionów 9, 80-441, Gdańsk, Poland.
In this study, carried out during 2006–2008 in the valley of the middle Pripyat River, S Belarus, the feather development of Northern Lapwing chicks was described in detail. Chicks were ringed on the day they hatched. Later they were recaptured and their plumage and feather growth stages were described. Seven age classes were identified. The first was downy chicks, 1–7 days old, with no visible growing feathers. Older age classes were distinguished according to the stage of development of different feather tracts. These observations, coupled with biometric data, provide a valuable means of ageing Northern Lapwing chick.