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Monday, February 22, 2021

MALE & FEMALE CRESTED CARACARAS, SIX L'S FARM RD., NAPLES,FLORIDA, 2/19/2021

   Since male and female Crested Caracaras both incubate their eggs, they will both develop brood patches during the nesting season.  In the Caracara on the right the yellow brood patch of featherless skin is well developed in the center of the chest.  In the Caracara on the left, the brood patch is just developing.  This can best be seen in the fifth photo.  Here you can see the feathers in the middle of the chest are starting to shed and you can just make out the yellowish brood patch beneath them.
   Feathers are insulators and thus prevent efficient incubation of eggs.  Birds have solved this in├žubation problem by developing brood patches during nesting season.  The brood patch is an area of featherless skin where the feathers have shed automatically or been plucked off, depending on the species.  This patch of skin is well supplied with blood vessels at the surface, so that there is heat transfer to the eggs when the bird is incubating the eggs.  The feathers regrow after the eggs hatch.













 

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