Regulus regulus - autumn

Goldcrest / Kungsfågel


Most individuals are possible to age on the shape of the RR alone, but more difficult tails are regularly seen. Moult contrast is present in the wing of 1cy, generally between post-juvenile MC and juvenile GC, but a few birds have also included some inner GC. However, these moult contrasts are generally difficult to detect, and great care should be taken since many birds also show 'false contrasts' created by a sudden change of the pattern on the inner GC. In difficult birds, skull ossification is often helpful. Adult birds show a uniform and freshly moulted plumage with broader and more blunt tipped RR.

  • In most birds, narrower and slightly more pointed RR than 2cy+, often with a typical juvenile quality (less dense, slightly more brownish and generally more worn). Note, however, that some are intermidiates in this respect and should be examined more thoroughly.
  • Juvenile PC are generally less dense, more brownish worn and slightly narrower than in adult, but differences are often very slight.
  • Those few individuals that have included inner GC in the moult show a contrast with the new feathers being slightly more fresh, more green in the tips and a very slightly darker centre.
  • In difficult birds, skull ossification should be checked. 1cy may show fully ossified skull as early as mid september.
  • Colour of Iris is generally colder grey.
  • Tips of RR generally blunter and broader, and the feathers are often of a generally better quality.
  • PC are generally more dense and darker grey with better gloss, but differences are often very slight.
  • Uniform wing lacking any moult contrast.
  • Color of iris is generally slightly warmer brownish-grey.
1cy October. Tips of RR on average more narrow and pointed. Wear will increase the juvenile impression with time. [R119443]
1cy September, showing variation. [TE4119]
2cy+ October. Tips of RR on average more broad and blunt (and in better condition). [TJ3988]
2cy+ September, showing variation. [SV2710]
1cy September. Juvenile PC are generally less dense, more brownish worn and slightly narrower than in adult, but differences are often very slight. [SN9039]
1cy September showing some variation in colour, shape and wear to the PC. [TE4119]
2cy+ October. PC are generally in better condition (with greener edges and fine grey tips), more dense, slightly broader and and often more greyish in colour. [TJ3450]
2cy+ October, showing variation. [TJ3988]
1cy September. Like most birds this one show a complete set of juvenile GC, but note the 'false contrast between GC6 and 7 where the inner ones show a different pattern, but do not differ in wear or structure. [SV2848]
1cy November. A few birds, including this one, show a moult contrast in the GC. Here, GC4 and GC8-10 are moulted post-juvenile, showing darker grey centra, fresch tips and edges and a slightly more dense structure compared to the juvenile feathers. [TJ4234]
2cy+ October. Uniformly post-breeding wing. [TJ3450]
2cy+ October, showing variation. [TE5249]
1cy October. A few individuals (seemingly not this one) include single inner tertials, but differences between juvenile and post-juvenile/post-breeding tertials are very slight and the contrast is hard to detect. [SN8214]
2cy+ September. [SV2492]
1cy October. Colour of iris is rather cold grey. [SN8214]
2cy+ October. Colour of iris is generaly slightly warmer brownish-grey. [TE5461]
More Regulus regulus:
Sexing autumn and spring
Ageing spring

Ringers' DigiGuide main page
Ringers' DigiGuide is sponsored by:
[Not showing? Disable adblocker for this site.]

Ringers' DigiGuide - main page