Feather Replacement for Predicting Hatching Phenologies of Mourning Doves

Predicted hatching distributions of mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) derived from post-juvenal primary molt data obtained from (1) trapped samples throughout the year and (2) trapped samples from September-October only, were compared to hatching distributions observed in nesting studies during 1981 and 1982. A good fit of the predicted distribution to the observed was obtained in 1981, but not in 1982. It appears that sampling intensity and uniformity are major factors influencing how well primary feather molt data predicts hatching distributions. As a result, sampling of molt data during a restricted period such as September-October leads to a greater skew in the predicted hatching distribution as compared to sampling uniformly throughout the year.

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