Sylvia curruca - autumn

Lesser Whitethroat

AGE – BEST CRITERIA:


In 1cy, moult contrasts are often present in GC and alula, and sometimes also in tail or TT. Adult bird shows a uniform and freshly moulted plumage. Colour of iris is supportive. 

1cy: 
  • If present, juvenile GC (commonly 0-3 juvenile GC kept unmoulted) are detected by having warmer brown edges, slightly more worn and with a looser texture. If all GC are moulted, there is a (less easily detected) contrast to the still juvenile PC.
  • The juvenile PC usually shows a looser texture and more worn brownish edges compared to adult birds.
  • Juvenile alula feathers are brownish worn, often in contrast to post-juvenile ones showing fresher greyish tips/edges and a glossy dark/black centre.
  • Juvenile RR (as well as PP) are generally more narrow, slightly more pointed and show a less good feather quality (less dense, less gloss and with a brownish ground colour). R6 shows pale markings in off-white or greyish-white and R5 lacks broad pure white tip.
  • Iris is usually very helpful during autumn – most 1cy have a rather cold (olive-) grey iris, sometimes with warmer brownish tint. Rarely, iris may be distinctly pale sandy brownish-grey.
2cy+:
  • Whole plumage fresh, lacking moult contrasts.
  • PC are more dense and often with slightly greyish edges.
  • Alula feathers show glossy dark centra with fresh greyish tips/edges.
  • RR (as well as PP) are broader, and in better condition (denser, darker more glossy). R6 shows pale markings in pure white and R5 have broad pure white tip.
  • Iris is warm brown, often with a pale (brownish-white) crescent or outer ring.

1cy August. The 2 outermost GC are unmoulted juvenile, showing warmer brown and (slightly) more worn edges contrasting to the adjecent post-juvenile GC. [CP39844]

1cy September. All 10 GC are post-juvenile, and show a slight contrast to the juvenile brownish edged PC. [CP40185]

2cy+ August. Fresh adult wing showing lack of moult contrasts. [CP39834]

2cy+ August. Fresh adult wing lacking any moult contrasts. [CP39468]

1cy August. Inner (small) AL is post-juvenile, showing a darker centre and fresh pale grey tip in contrast to the two juvenile longer AL feathers. [CP39912]

1cy August. All three AL feathers are unmoulted juvenile. [CP39857]

2cy+ September. Adult AL feathers show glossy blackish centre and greish edges. [CP47952]

2cy+ August, showing variation in AL pattern. [CP39834]

1cy August. Juvenile PC usually shows a looser texture and more worn brownish edges and centra compared to adult birds. [CP39847]

1cy August, showing variation in PC pattern. [CP39935]

2cy+ August. Adult PC are generally slightly broader, more dense, fresh and usually (but variably) has slightly greyish edges. [CP39777]

2cy+ August, showing variation in PC pattern. [CP39468]

1cy September. All three TT are of typical juvenile quality - loose texture with slightly paler brownish centra than in adult. During autumn, wear will enhance the difference as juvenile feathers will worn faster than adult ones. [CP47928]

1cy September. Another individual showing a juvenile set of TT. [CP40185]

2cy+ September. Adult TT are denser and have slightly more glossy and darker grey centra.[CP40251)

2cy+ September showing variation in adult TT. [CP47952]

1cy September. Juvenile PP are of less good feather quality (less dense, less gloss and with a brownish ground colour) and will show a more progressive wear during autumn than adult ones. [CP40060]

1cy August. During early autumn differences in wear between the age categories is not always easy to detect, but note the juvenile feather quality with a brownish basic hue to the feathers. [CP39876]

2cy+ September. Adult PP are in better condition (denser, darker and with better gloss). [CP47952]

2cy+ August, showing variation. [CP39834]

1cy August. Juvenile RR are generally more narrow, slightly more pointed and show a less good feather quality (less dense, less gloss and with a brownish ground colour). R6 shows pale markings in off-white or greyish-white and R5 lacks broad pure white tip. The whole tail is juvenile with no moulted post-juvenile RR present in this bird. [CP39844]

1cy August, showing variation in tail pattern. The whole tail is juvenile with no moulted post-juvenile RR present. [CP39857]

2cy+ August. Adult RR are broader and in better condition (denser, darker more glossy). R6 shows pale markings in pure white and R5 have broad pure white tip. [CP39777]

2cy+ August, showing variation in tail pattern. [CP40251]

1cy August. Most 1cy have a rather cold (olive-) grey iris, sometimes with warmer brownish tint. [CP39847]

1cy August, showing variation in iris colour. Some individuals, like here, have a slightly more greyish-brown iris. [CP39855]

2c+ August. Iris in adult is warmer brown, often with a pale (brownish-white) crescent or outer ring present. [CP39468]

2cy+ September. Another individual showing some variation of the warm brown iris. [CP47952]

More Sylvia curruca:
Ageing spring
Moult

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