We examined 318 Colinus virginianus (Northern Bobwhite) wings from 27 Kentucky counties for fault bars. Fault bars are areas in flight feathers that lack pigment due to exposure to stressors. We detected fault bars on 38 (11.9%) wings (representing individual Northern Bobwhites) from 14 Kentucky counties; fault bars were most prevalent in juveniles. Fault bars have been documented on Phasianus colchicus (Ring-Necked Pheasant) and many species of passerine and raptorial birds, but this is the first report for the Northern Bobwhite. Examination of wings for fault bars could provide a new method for assessing stress in Northern Bobwhite populations and be useful to evaluate translocations or to select donor populations for translocation.
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Vol. 26 • No. 1