Emberiza shoeniclus - sexing autumn

Common Reed Bunting


After completion of post-juvenile moult, most birds are readily sexed using the below criteria (rarely, a few birds may be more problematic). Further characters are given in Svensson (1992).

Male, 1cy, September. A pure white collar is present in the nape of males. This may be partly visible, like here (just behind the ear-c), or fully concealed by buffish feather tips when fresh. [1ET80494]

Male, 1cy, November. The presence/absence of white in nape may be checked by gently lifting the feathers. [1ES24453]

Female, 2cy+, October. In females, no pure white is seen in the nape. A few individuals may show brownish dirt-white hidden under more extensive buffish tips. [1EV96248]

Male, 2cy+, November. Note that adult males generally attain a rather dull and descreet plumage during autumn. [1ET29303]

Male, 1cy, September. In males, the crown feathers show wide jet-black centra and bases, distinctly demarked from the buffish tip. [1ET80494]

Female, 1cy, October. Female crown feathers show a smaller and narrower dark brown (brownish-black) centre, more diffusely demarked from the buffish tips. [1ES23071]

Male, 1cy, September. The rump feathers in males show a rather cold grey colour, in fresh plumage concealed by brownish-buff tips. [1ET80494]

Female, 1cy, October. Female rump feathers usually lack grey feathering, but a few may show smaller greyish suffusions.[1ET80658]

Male, 2cy+, November. An adult male showing extensive presence of grey in rump. [1ET29303]

Female 2cy+, October. Note the lack of grey feathering. [1EV96248]

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