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REQUEST FOR INFORMATION: PREMATURE FEATHER LOSS


Melanie Colón

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REQUEST FOR INFORMATION: PREMATURE FEATHER LOSS – In July 2014 we observed a rare condition coined premature feather loss (PFL) among Common Terns, Sterna hirundo, at a small colony in northern Lake Ontario, Canada. This condition, which may have been linked to a lake turnover event, is characterized by affected chicks losing all their wing, tail, head and body feathers several weeks after hatching. We are seeking input from the scientific community about (1) similar, unusual phenomenon among wildlife of Lake Ontario in July 2014 or other avifauna anywhere, (2) advice on potential analytical approaches for current samples and sampling protocols and funding sources for any future PFL manifestations, and (3) other possible events in early July 2014 in Lake Ontario that may explain the reemergence of PFL among Common Tern chicks.  Extensive documentation of this event, including comparative photographs, is freely available online at  https://peerj.com/preprints/1196/.   Members can leave comments on this page or email me directly (EM: jma25@psu.edu) with any information they feel might be insightful.

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