This paper attempts a synthesis of available information on glandular functions of avian integument, a topic which has not received adequate attention. Morphologi cally distinct glands in the skin of birds are limited to the uropygial gland, ceruminous (wax) glands in external ear canal and integumentary glands of the vent (anal glands). Of these, only the uropygial gland has been studied in a considerable manner., whereas taxonomic and functional status of the latter two remain unclear at the present juncture. The holocrine ceruminous glands, though lipoid producing, differ greatly from the uropygial gland in structure and functions. The glands of the vent are the only mucoid producing glands found in avian skin. Thus the avian integument, on gross examination, appears to be poorly endowed with glands compared to that of other vertebrates. However, cells of avian body epidermis show a unique lipogenic potential, producing both keratin and sebum like lipoid material. Aptly termed as 'sebokeratocytes', the epidermal cells in glabrous portions of skin as well as specialized regions such as the rictus and toe web exhibit a remarkably high degree of sebogenic activity. Possible significance of this epidermal lipoid secretion in enhancing water repellancy of skin; preventing excessive cutaneous water loss; screening off harmful radiations, imparting colouration to the skin etcetera are discussed. In light of the widespread nature of epidermal lipoid secretion and the knowledge that many specialized types of feathers in various species produce and maintain a supply of material such as powder, grease or both, used in cosmetic purposes, the concept of secretory activity is reexamined. It is proposed that on a functional basis, the secretory epidermal regions and specialized feathers be considered as glandular units of skin, though they lack the conventionally accepted glandular profile.
A bird banding scheme known as the Migratory Animal Pathology Survey was active in Eastern and Southeastern Asia during the years 1963-1971. Birds were ringed extensively in South Korea, Japan, Okinawa, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand, Malaya, Sarawak, Sabah, Singapore, Java, Bali, and India, with some work being done in a few other localities. From these studies 1, 165, 290 birds of 1, 216 species were banded. There were 32, 717 recovery records among 552 species and 62 families. The survival records for each species are listed and a short discussion of survival rates by family is given.
Pineal glands have been studied for seasonal histological variations. Structural details of the pineal gland of the Indian house crow have been described. The gland could be more correctly described as "INTERMEDIATE" (i. e. sacculofolicular) between the compact lobular and saccular types found in other vertebrales. Anatomical observations on different cell-types and nerve supply have been recorded. Annual variations in glands' weight, and the changes in nuclear populations have been observed and correlated with simultaneous changes occurring in the day length and gonadal activity. It has been observed that the pineal gland was more active during regressive and the non-breeding phases of gonads (short-day length regimen) than during the breeding phase (long-day length regimen). Volume changes per si were found to be less significant in assessing the state of activity of the gland.
During the course of an ecological study of the Eastern Great Reed Warbler Acrocephalus arundinaceus orientalis at Lake Biwa, some information on its moulting was obtained. From 1976 to 1978, 24 birds were trapped after July and 9 of them, including both young and adults, were either during or after moult. Their stage of moult agrees closely with the progress of moulting in young and adults at Fukushimagata, estimated from the moulting records of the BMRC banding team. Some birds that bred in the study site were confirmed to start moult there and it is expected that they complete it not far from their breeding sites. Characters for ageing were also referred to.