Fringilla montifringilla - autumn



Moult contrast present in the wing of 1cy, generally among central or outer GC, and in a few birds also in TT or RR. Adult birds show a uniform and freshly moulted plumage.


  • Often show moult contrast in central or outer GC: Fresh post-juvenile inner GC are darker greyish black and usually show a wide rusty tip in contrast to the more worn greyish juvenile outer GC with narrow white tips. Others have included all GC in the moult, and the contrast is then found towards the still juvenile PC.
  • Juvenile PC are generally slightly more narrow, more worn in tips and edges and less brightly coloured in the green/grey edge of outer vane (though 2cy+ male often show all black PC).
  • Juvenile RR are somewhat variable, but generally slightly more narrow and pointed in the tips and show a juvenile quality to the feather. A few individuals have moulted single or several RR and then exhibit moult contrast among RR. According to Jenni & Winkler (1994) exceptional individuals may include the whole tail in the post-juvenile moult.
  • Most individuals show uniformly juvenile TT, but a few may include 1-2 inner ones. Post-juvenile TT are fresh and show a more contrasting pattern with a blackish centre and deeper rusty edge (similar to the post-juvenile inner GC), contrasting well to unmoulted TT and inner SS.
  • Uniform plumage lacking any moult contrast (though rare occasions of retained/forgotten feathers are known).
  • Whole wing and tail (esp. PC, PP and RR) in better condition with broader and denser feathers, more blackish in colour and with better gloss (esp. in males).
  • Tips of RR generally slightly more blunt and broader.

1cy October (male). GC1-3 juvenile, contrasting to post-juvenile GC4-10. Juvenile outer GC are worn and paler grey with narrow white tips while the inner post-juvenile ones are darker greyish black, showing a wide rusty tip. [1ET80898]

1cy October (female), showing retained juvenile GC1-2 in contrast to post-juvenile inner GC3-10. [1ET80875]

2cy+ September (male). Uniform and fresh post-breeding wing, lacking any moult contrast. The dark portions of the feathers are darker blackish with better gloss. [1ET80460]

2cy+ November (female), showing the female version of an adult wing. [1ET81035]

1cy October (male). Juvenile PC are generally slightly narrower and paler (brownish-) grey with variably worn tips and edges. Note the single juvenile GC1 which together with the PC contrasts to the moulted post-juvenile inner GC2-10. [1ET80601]

1cy October (female), showing variation in colour, shape and wear to the PC. Note that GC1-2 are juvenile in contrast to post-juvenile inner GC3-10. [1ET80875]

2cy+ September (male). PC are generally in better condition, slightly broader and darker blackish. [1ET80460]

2cy+ November (female), showing the female version of adult PC. Note the fresh greenish edges to the outer vane. [1ET81035]

1cy September (male). Uniformly juvenile RR, typically rather narrow and with pointed tips. However, note that some individuals show more adult-like RR than this. [1ET80499]

1cy September (female). Another uniform set of juvenile RR, showing broader feathers than the one to the left, but still with typically pointed tips. [1ES79624]

2cy+ November (male). RR broad, blunt tipped and in good condition (glossy blackish). [1ET29383]

2cy+ November (female). In this adult the feathers are less broad, but still typically adult in shape, colour and wear. [1ET81035]

1cy October (male) showing uniformly juvenile TT with dark brown (sometimes blackish-brown) centra, contrasting to post-juvenile GC but same generation as inner SS. [1ET80898]

1cy September (female). Showing variation of juvenile TT. [1ES25318]

2cy+ October (male). Uniformly post-breeding TT, GC and SS. [1ET29383]

2cy+ October (female) showing variation. [1ET81035]

More Fringilla montifringilla:
Sexing autumn
Ageing spring
Sexing spring

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