Carduelis spinus - autumn

Eurasian Siskin


Moult contrast present in the wing of 1cy, often in the central GC (but very variable, and rarely all GC may be moulted) and sometimes also in RR and TT. Note, however, that unmoulted juvenile birds may (rarely) be seen even during winter. Adult birds show a uniform and freshly moulted plumage.

  • Nearly always show moult contrast in the GC, commonly in the central or outer part of the arm: Fresh post-juvenile inner GC are denser, longer, show a darker (blackish) centre and wider and more yellow tips than the more worn juvenile outer GC that often show loose, more narrow and pale yellowish-buff tips and a paler grey centre. A few show less extensive moult and the contrast may then be hidden under the scapulars (or may even be lacking due to delayed post-juvenile moult). Rarely, all GC may be moulted, and the contrast is then found towards the still juvenile PC.
  • Juvenile RR are on average more pointed and worn than adult ones. Many individuals have moulted single or several RR and then exhibit moult contrast among RR. According to Jenni & Winkler (1994) a few individuals include the whole tail in the post-juvenile moult, but reasonably more common in southern populations. 
  • 0-3 TT are included in the post-juvenile moult. Post-juvenile TT are fresh and show a darker (blackish) centre and more colourful yellow and white edges/tips than the more worn and slightly paler grey juvenile ones, with more narrow and yellowish-white edges.
  • Juvenile PC are generally less dense, slightly more brownish-grey than adult ones.
  • Uniform plumage lacking any moult contrast.
  • Whole wing and tail in better condition with denser feathers and better gloss.
  • Tips of RR generally slightly more blunt and broader.

1cy (male) October. GC8-9 are post-juvenile (fresh, long, blackish centre and wide deep yellow tip) contrasting to GC1-7 and GC10 which are unmoulted juvenile. Note also that the two outermost MC are still juvenile in contrast to post-juvenile inner MC. [CV54723]

1cy (female) October. GC6-10 are moulted post-juvenile, while the outer GC1-5 are juvenile (shorter, more worn, paler grey centre and with a more narrow pale yellowish-buff tips). [CV53835]

2cy+ (male) September. Whole wing uniform and fresh post-breeding. Blackish GC with wide deep yellow tips. [CL23314]

2cy+ (female) November. Whole wing uniform and fresh post-breeding. Note that female show alightly duller colour in wing than males. [CL23661]

1cy (male) October. Moult contrast is often present in the tail of 1cy; R1 (both) are post-juvenile showing blunt and dense tips. Rest of RR are juvenile (more pointed and, compared to post-juvenile or post-breeding RR the yellow and black colours are less deep). With time, differences in wear will add to the impression of the two generations present. [CV54723]

1cy (female) October. A dominantly juvenile tail, buy note the growing right R5, showing a blunter tip and deeper black colour. [CV53835]

2cy+ (male) September. Whole tail uniform and fresh post-preeding. Note blunt tips, dense structure and bright clear-cut colouration. [CL23314]

2cy+ (female) October, showing variation. [DB08670]

1cy (male) October. Uniformly unmoulted juvenile TT, contrasting to fresh post-juvenile GC8-9, but not to GC10 and S6. [CV54723]

1cy (male) September. All TT are moulted post-juvenile, like the visible inner GC. Note the slightly darker centre, vividly yellow and white edges/tips and the contrast to S6. Post-juvenile TT are not separable from adult post-breeding TT. The TT of adult female are rather similar, but often slightly less colourful. [CV51032]

1cy (male) September. Juvenile PC are rather dark blackish-grey, often appearing slightly more worn and less dense. [CV51973]

1cy (female) October, showing another set of juvenile PC. [CV54084]

2cy+ (male) September. Adult PC are slightly fresher, with a glossy blackish centre and more dense structure. [DA54551]

2cy+ (female) September, showing variation. [CL23661]

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