Young gryphons moult, and it can be rather funny to see. For a few awkward weeks they shed their soft baby down and grow out their sleek adult plumage, often changing colour as they do so, shifting from pebble-like colourations to more gaudy, showy fineries. Thankfully they tend to see the funny side of the moment, too.

Clarence is experiencing a particularly messy moult, shifting from an earthy brown to a more stony grey – next year he’ll shed again, shifting into a sky blue or perhaps a mellow purple, but adult moults tend to be more tidy and discreet. The baby fluff seems particularly disobliging and will stick out at all angles as the newer, sleeker feathers grow in around them. It can be itchy and hot and can make a young gryphon feel very self-conscious, but Clarence’s good humour keeps his spirits up. It’ll pass and he’ll feel wonderful when it does.

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