[Tweeters] Tailess Towhees

dgrainger at birdsbydave.com dgrainger at birdsbydave.com
Thu Apr 14 15:37:33 PDT 2022

I saw examples of that last year, was explained as "fright molt" where a
grab from a predator would pull out tail feathers easily because they
are anchored more loosely than other feathers, thus letting MOST of the
bird live to grow them back...

On 2022-04-12 11:41, Greg Pluth wrote:

> Tweets -

> Over the last few days I've been noticing a male Spotted Towhee with

> absolutely no tail feathers. I have seen this several times with

> towhees only over the years. I'm not sure if they were all at this

> time in the spring. Though I've never heard other birders (or anyone

> for that matter) discussing it, I'm nearly positive I can't be the

> only one to have observed it. I also have not seen tailess birds

> subsequently sprouting new stubby tail feathers. I have conjectured to

> myself that there may be a cat somewhere with a mouthful of tail

> feathers, and I can't imagine an April Towhee molting out all tail

> feathers at once.


> Anyone out there knowledgeable on the subject? I'd be interested to

> know!


> Greg Pluth

> University Place

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