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WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN

FAULT BARS - GROWTH BARS - PALE BANDS?

The three terms are often confused. Reason are the different names in different countries and may be the not entirely known characteristics of every term. 1. Fault Bars Wrong, but often used common names instead of the term "FAULT BARS" are: hunger streaks, hunger faults, hunger traces, feather marks, starvation marks or subordinate bars, stress bars and also fundamental bars. The author Oscar Riddle was the first, who described this phenomenom in 1908 in his publication “The Genesis of Fault Bars in Feathers and the Cause of Alternation of Light and Dark Fundamental Bars” (source: Biological Bulletin, Vol. 14, No. 6 (May, 1908), pp. 328-370) Fault bars are about a millimeter wide clear (translucent) malformations on bird feathers that are produced, in whose area the deposition of keratin was disturbed during the feather growth. They are visible as bands or rarely as spots, but visible from both sides of the feather. Fault bars reduce the stability of feathers on which they occur, making the feathers easier to break. The reasons for the cause of faultbars are not fully explored. Known causes of faultbars are inter alia: - bacterial infections  (specially in pigeons with a proven   campylobacter infection) - the administration of medicine - situations of stress - also parasites could you be a reason for appearance of fault   bars All in all fault bars are an indication of the bird's health and also a sign of success by partner choice and breeding. The occurrence of fault bars is in all species of birds possible, but were more plentiful in juvenile birds than in adult birds. In juvenile birds show more males this phenomenon. Also in last hatched chicks are more often fault bars, which indicates both hunger episodes as well as stress conditions. An interesting claim is that the amount of fault bars in adult males and females are different. Females have more fault bars than males. One main reason is the greater stress of females during the breeding time. Other special features are that fault bars are found more often in tail feathers than in wing feathers and in the wings particularly in the inner secondaries and tertials.
2. Growth Bars  Growth bars, originally named as fundamental bars, also called ribbings, subordinate bars, watered barring, feather bars. Growth bars have also been described by Oscar Riddle in 1908. In his publication “The Genesis of Fault-Bars in Feathers and the Cause of Alternation of Light and Dark Fundamental Bars are growth bars also called fundamental bars. Contrary to fault bars are growth bars not clear and often not clearly seen. This is dependent on the color of the plumage. On colourful or marbled feathers growth bars are not easy to find. Growth bars are also seen in the wing and tail feathers (flight feathers) as alternately dark and pale cross bands, running over both inner- and outer web of them. If they are dark they are built during the day, if the bands are pale they are built during the night.
3. Pale bands A possible variant of fault bars are pale bands which are sometimes seen on wing- and tail feathers and which are probably due to reduced metabolism with less melanin deposition during the growth of feathers.
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