A head feather survey

Update: 9 March 2012

Thank you! The response to the head feather survey has been fantastic: 95 participants as of 10 AM on March 9th. The survey will be open for a while, and more responses are always better, so please spread the word.

So far the preliminary results show that fairly experienced birders have been taking the survey (no surprise there). About two-thirds of them think “malar” should be the term used for the feathers on the side of the lower jaw, with recommendations for “submoustachial” far behind at 15%, barely ahead of “don’t know/don’t care”. Apparently, more than half of the birders currently using “submoustachial” think they should switch to “malar”!

I’ve also reworded one of the choices in the final question to cover any new term, with “jaw stripe” as an example, instead of just “jaw stripe” which had garnered about 6% support.

I’m not sure where all this will lead and what my final decision will be, but it’s fascinating and informative. If you haven’t taken the survey yet, check it out. If you have already taken it, please pass the link along to other birders.

I thought it would be interesting to create a survey to find out where birders stand on the issue of head feather terminology (something I take very seriously ;-)). The questions below should be self-explanatory. If you want to read more about this issue before you cast a vote please see my recent post on the subject and related posts and quizzes.

You can vote as often as you like, just be sure to click the “submit” button to enter your vote and see the results.

[wpsqt name=”malar, submoustachial, or ?” type=”survey”]

2 thoughts on “A head feather survey”

  1. I usually only use the terms moustashial or submoustachial when talking about sparrows. I use malar for everything else. I find the uses for ‘malar’ to mean submuostachial or throat stipe when discussing sparrow feathering very frustrating.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *