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breeding plumage

noun

nuptial plumage

noun, Ornithology
1.
the plumage assumed by a male bird during the courtship period, especially in those species that are more colorful at this period.
Also called breeding plumage.
Origin of nuptial plumage
1830-1840
1830-40
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for breeding plumage
Historical Examples
  • In the breeding plumage the under parts of these Terns are tinged with rosy, which probably first gave the birds their name.

    The Bird Book Chester A. Reed
  • In breeding plumage, they are one of the most beautiful of herons.

    Bird Guide Chester A. Reed
  • In breeding plumage, the sides of head and neck have tufts of filmy white feathers, eyes green, as they are in all cormorants.

    Bird Guide Chester A. Reed
  • There are two specimens in the Museum, both in breeding plumage.

  • They were, at this time, beginning to molt their breeding plumage.

  • In breeding plumage: Head with crest; neck and back with ornamental plumes; bill black.

  • In the breeding plumage they have red comb-like wattles over the eye.

    The Bird Book Chester A. Reed
  • Lacking specimens in breeding plumage, I was unable to determine the subspecific affinities of the population at Tenom.

    Birds from North Borneo Max C. Thompson
  • They wear a totally different dress—the courtship or breeding plumage.

    Birds in Flight W. P. Pycraft
  • In the breeding plumage, this bird is brownish black above, barred with rusty and below is marbled with brownish gray and white.

    The Bird Book Chester A. Reed

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