Ficedula hypoleuca - sexing spring

Pied Flycatcher


During spring sexing is, in general, very straight forward due to distinct sexual dimorphism. However, a few males (2cy males only?) shows a predominantly greyish-brown upperside (instead of black) and thereby becomes more similar to females than usual.

 Most males are easily reckognized due to the black-and-white plumage and distinct white patch in the forehead, in contrast to the paler greyish-brown females (see photos below). Greyer males may be more similar to females but are still identified by (at least) traces of white in the forehead, much white in the TT and blackish uppertail-coverts. Do not use wing length.

Male, 3cy+, May. Most males (both age classes) are easily reckognized by their distinctive black-and-white plumage. [CV03757]

Female, 3cy+, May. Females show greyish-brown upperparts, lack of white forehead patch, less white in the TT and paler uppertail-c and RR. [CS02676]

Male, 2cy, May. A greyish bird sexed as male based on traces of white in forehead, much white in the TT and some blackish wing-c (many pale males still show darker pre-breeding GC than females). [CV04323]

Male, 2cy, May. Another greyish male, sexed as the previous bird. [CV03117]

Male, 2cy, May. A slightly odd greyish male, showing an abberantly pale face (and very advanced pre-breeding moult in the SS). [CN94992]

Male, 2cy, May. Same bird as to the left. [CN94992]

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