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    Annual molts and the subsequent plumages they produce are a ubiquitous element of avian life history. Research pertaining to the utility of molt and plumage has produced a robust framework of age-categorization for the vast majority of temperate avifauna. In comparison to temperate bird species, however, we know very little about resident topical bird molt and plumage. Published data pertaining to molt and plumage sequences are limited in scope, covering few species, and, to our knowledge, are not currently synthesized. Here we combine new information gathered from field and museum specimens with a synthesis of previous work to review molt and plumage for 15 families of New-World tropical passerines and near-passerines. More specifically, we outline plumage sequences and molt extent as it relates to age-categorization; we also assign generalized molt strategies based on common patterns found among genera within each family. Given the diversity of most tropical passerine families, this synthesis is not all-inclusive; however, it is presented in a broad framework with the goal of advancing our knowledge of tropical avian molt and plumage sequences.

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    Ryder, T. B.; Wolfe, J. D. 2009. The current state of knowledge on molt and plumage sequences in selected tropical families: a review. Ornitologia Neotropical. 20: 1-18.


    Molt, plumage, plumage-sequence, tropical, New World

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