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Sandhill crane question

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1 hour ago, BirdNrd said:

I think it might be either a juvenile or an immature.

This is an adult bird. There are very few if any juvenile birds of any species this time of year- most, including Sandhill Crane, will have at least molted once. The reasoning behind the rust staining is just that- staining. Sandhill Cranes often get dirt and soil on their plumage, hence the reddish coloration.

Edited by Hasan
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This is an adult bird. Sniped by @Hasan

"Plumage becomes stained adventitiously for camouflage through application of soil to plumage or an oxidation process (Taverner 1929, Drewien 1973, Nesbitt 1975a, Pyle 2008); results in plumage ranging from drab-clay to cinnamon-rufous (ferric oxide). Stained feathers occur below mid-neck and are particularly apparent among upperwing primary and secondary coverts and upper breast feathers." - BOW

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7 hours ago, arube570 said:

Thanks for the replies. So it seems this is a something the bird does to itself. I wonder if the stain is permanent once it occurs.



Since they molt, no. They would have to stain new feathers again.

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