Fringilla montifringilla - spring



Autumn criterias are still applicable, though 2cy are more affected to wear during the winter than adult. Moult contrast present in the wing of 2cy, 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: Less worn 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 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 3cy+ 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 worn 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 have included 1-2 inner ones. Post-juvenile TT are less worn 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 and in better condition.

2cy April (male). GC1-5 juvenile, contrasting to post-juvenile GC6-10. Juvenile outer GC are worn and paler grey with narrow white tips while the less worn inner post-juvenile ones are darker greyish black, showing a wide rusty tip. [1ET29443]

2cy April (male), showing retained juvenile GC1-4 in contrast to post-juvenile inner GC5-10. [1ES24517]

3cy+ April (male). Uniform and fresh post-breeding wing, lacking any moult contrast. The dark portions of the feathers are darker blackish with better gloss. [1ES24514]

3cy+ April (female), showing the female version of an adult wing. [1ET29433]

2cy April (male). Juvenile PC are generally slightly narrower and paler (brownish-) grey with variably worn tips and edges. [1ET29443]

2cy April (male) showing some variation in colour, shape and wear to the PC. [1ES24517]

3cy+ April (male). PC are generally in better condition, slightly broader and darker blackish. [1ET29434]

3cy+ April (female), showing the female version of adult PC. Note the still rather fresh greenish edges to the outer vane. [1ET29433]

2cy April (male). A bird that have renewed part of the tail in the post-juvenile moult. R1-3 in both sides are juvenile while R4-6 in both sides are post-juvenile, demonstrating the difference in shape between the two generations. [1ET29443]

2cy April (male), showing a uniform set of juvenile RR. [1ES24517]

3cy+ April. Uniformly post-breeding RR. Note that there is a variation in width and shape of the RR (this one being slightly more narrow and more pointed than most adult) and that some individuals are less straight forward in this respect. [1ET29416]

3cy+ April (female), showing variation. [1ET29433]

2cy April (male) showing uniformly juvenile TT with dark brown (sometimes blackish-brown) centra, contrasting to post-juvenile GC but same generation as inner SS. [1ET29443]

2cy April (male) showing variation of juvenile TT. [1ES24517]

3cy+ April (male). Uniformly post-breeding TT, GC and SS. [1ET29434]

3cy+ April (female), showing variation. Note that innermost S was not included in the complete moult (=retained/forgotten feather) and by now is more than 1,5 years old. If this feather could be specified to generation (juvenile vs post-breeding) the age of the bird could theoretically be set to 3cy or 4cy+. However, the wear of a feather is affected by many different factors, and such specification is generally risky. [1ET29458]

More Fringilla montifringilla:
Sexing spring
Ageing autumn
Sexing autumn

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