nuptial plumage

variants: or less commonly nuptial dress

Definition of nuptial plumage

: the specialized plumage assumed by the males of many birds while the gonads are enlarging prior to the start of the annual breeding period and characterized by greater brilliance of color and form than that of the nonbreeding males

called also breeding plumage

— compare eclipse plumage

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Cite this Entry

“Nuptial plumage.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

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