Thursday, June 25, 2009

Airborne diastema.

A Red-tailed Hawk was enduring the insults of crows. Eventually it couldn't take any more.

The big bird flew overhead, over the dyke and away. It was looking a little shabby, with molting underway in both remiges (flight feathers of the wings) and rectrices (the long tail feathers, also functionally important to flight). Note the symmetry--the gap and replacement feathers are in the same position on both wings, tail too. Replacement in wing feathers occurs in sequence, in waves along the wings (exactly how varies among different kinds of birds).

4 comments:

Kim and Victoria said...

Diastema, huh? Pretty cool.

Aunt Debbi/kurts mom said...

My youngest has that. Big ole gap between the front teeth, but doesn't want braces. At least feathers grow back.

Hugh said...

Aunt Deb, braces aren't so bad, he should know (speaking as a veteran).

Ours will both need them. Stupid DNA.

Karen said...

Lauren Hutton had nothing on your hawk! I wonder about those crow mobbings sometimes - do they ever make an error and get nabbed? I've seen them get so close to bald eagles, I worry for them sometimes. Then again, they are acting incredibly annoying so they would almost deserve it.