nuptial plumage

noun Ornithology.
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.

1830–40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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There were slightly more drakes than hens, an expected ratio, and all were in full nuptial plumage.
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