Luscinia luscinia - autumn

Thrush Nightingale


In 1cy, moult contrast is present in GC, most often in the central part of the arm. Adult birds show a uniform and freshly moulted plumage.


  • Most birds included 4-6 inner GC in the post-juvenile moult. Juvenile outer GC show a slightly more rusty hue on the outer vane (but note that a rusty hue is present also in post-juvenile/post-breeding GC, but with a slightly more olive-brown colour component) and generally diffuse pale rusty-buff tips. Difference in wear between juvenile and post-juvenile GC in early autumn is not always obvious in this species, but the structure of the post-juvenile GC are generally slightly more dense.
  • Juvenile PC are often slightly less dense and more loose/frayed than in adult, but difference is often difficult to detect.
  • Juvenile RR are generally slightly more worn, narrow and more pointed, but difficult birds are often seen.
    Juvenile TT are often slightly narrower and more pointed, sometimes showing a pale buff tip. A weak contrast is often seen towards the post-juvenile inner GC, the latter being less rusty, more olive-brown. A few birds show a similar moult contrast within the TT.
  • Colour of iris cold greyish.


  • Whole plumage fresh, lacking moult contrasts.
  • GC are uniformly olive-brown with no pale tips (but note that the MC are often even more olive, which may lead to thoughts of a moult contrast).
  • PC are slightly more dense, crisp fresh and slightly less rusty.
  • RR are generally slightly broader, more blunt tipped and often in better condition.
  • Colour of iris warm greyish-brown.

1cy July. GC1-5 are juvenile with a rusty hue and rather large pale buffish tip. Inner post-juvenile inner GC6-10 have a slightly more dense structure and lack pale tips. In this individual the post-juvenile GC are almost as rusty as the juvenile outer ones, but in most birds the newly aquired GC are slightly less rusty, and more cold olive brown. [2KR44293]

1 cy August. Another individual showing juvenile GC1-2 in contrast to post-juvenile GC3-10. Note the more dense structure, lack of pale tip and a slightly colder olive-brown colour to the post-juvenile GC. [2KR44343]

2cy+ August. Fresh adult wing showing uniformly post-breeding GC and lack of any moult contrasts. This bird shows some weak pale tips to the outer GC, but note that feather structure, wear and ground colour indicate that they are still of the same generation. [AV28320]

2cy+ August. Fresh post-breeding GC without any contrasts (but note that the complete moult is ongoing in other parts of the wing, with SS, AL and a MC still unmoulted worn, about one year old by now). [2KR09811]

1cy August. Juvenile PC are generally slightly less dense and often slightly more worn and loose/frayed than in adult, but difference is not always obvious. [2KR44343]

1cy July, showing variation in PC. [2KS80419]

2cy+ August. Adult PC are slightly more dense, crisp fresh and slightly more olive. [2KS80404]

2cy+ August, showing variation in PC. [2KR09834]

1cy July. The juvenile RR are generally somewhat narrower and show more pointed tips. But there is a variation, and more difficult individuals are sometimes seen. [2KS81758]

1cy July, showing variation in the juvenile RR. [2KS80419]

2cy+ August. Post-breeding RR are generally slightly broader and more blunt-tipped. Note also a better general feather quality. [2KR09834]

2cy+ August, showing variation in post-breeding RR. [AV28320]

1cy August. Most young birds show uniformly juvenile TT, but a few (like here) may show two generations of feathers. Note the post-juvenile innermost T, same generation as inner GC, but showing a contrast to the two longer juvenile TT (slightly less dense and a trifle more rusty, less olive). [2KR44343]

2cy+ August, showing uniformly post-breeding TT. [AV28320]

1cy August. Iris rather cold greyish. [2KR44343]

2cy+ Augusti. Iris generally warmer greyish-brown. [2KR09834]

More Luscinia luscinia:

Ageing spring

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