AGE – BEST CRITERIA:
Individual differences in wear and moult makes ageing problematic at times. Moult contrasts are often present in LC, MC, GC, tail and TT in both age classes, and should be examined carefully.
2cy May. GC1-4 are unmoulted juvenile in contrast to fresh pre-breeding MC, GC5-10, TT and SS5-6. The juvenile outer GC are brownish worn with distinct but very narrow whitish edges and tips. [1ET29627]
3cy+ April. Note the contrast betwen fresh inner pre-breeding GC4-10 (with dark blackish-grey centre with broad grey to greyish-white edges and tips) and intermediately worn outer post-breeding GC1-3 (which have the same basic pattern but has bleached to medium grey and have worn off some of the white in the edges/tips). Note also the inner three GC with a slightly different pattern, creating a 'false contrast'. [1ET29450]
2cy May. Tails may be rather difficult to assess (esp. separation of pre-breeding and post-breeding/post-juvenile generations, which all can be rather variable in wear). However, separating the mentioned generations is not necessary - it is only the presence of juvenile feathers that help the ageing process (proves the bird as 2cy). In this bird, R3-4 (both sides) and left R5 are juvenile, while the rest, R1-2 (both sides), right R5 and both R6, are either post-juvenile or pre-breeding. [1ES24630]
3cy+ April. As stated above, separation of post-breeding and pre-breeding generations may be difficult due to variation in wear (and is not needed for ageing). This individual possibly shows pre-breeding R1 and R6 on both sides, while the rest of the tail is post-breeding. [1ET29459]
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