Emberiza shoeniclus - sexing spring

Common Reed Bunting


Readily sexed using the below criteria (very rarely, odd birds may cause some temporary confusion).

Male, 2cy, May. Easily reckognized as male on the striking black and white head pattern. In more fresh 2cy birds, much of the distinct pattern may be concealed by pale tips and fringes but, at least, irregular traces of black and white always breaks through. [1ET28087]

Female, 2cy, April, showing typical female head pattern. [1ET29439]

Male, 3cy+, April. Adult males, on average, show less pale tips and fringes to head feathers than 2cy. [1ET29457]

Female, 3cy+, May. Typical adult female.[1ET29516]

Female, 3cy+, May. A rather odd adult female, showing a head pattern approaching that of males. Note, however, that the feathering is dark brown to blackish-grey, and not jet-black. In such cases is may also be adviceable to check the pattern of the rump. [1ES24573]

Male, 2cy, May. In males, the rump show a variable amount of grey, usually intermixed with some brownish tips. [1ET28087]

Male, 2cy, May. The amount of grey feathering show individual (rather than age related) variation. [1ET29522]

Female, 2cy, May. Most females have no grey on the rump at all, while a few may show smaller greyish suffusions intermixed. [1ET29487]

Female, 3cy+, May. A typical female rump. [1ET29516]

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