Muscicapa striata - autumn

Spotted Flycatcher


Moult contrasts are present in both 1cy and 2cy+. However, the extent of the moult is rather restricted and sine the juvenile feathers (e.g. GC and TT) are easily recognized, ageing of Spotted Flycatchers in autumn seldom renders any problem. 

  • Juvenile GC are easily reckognized by being rather fresh, and by having pale buffish edges that broadens to a paler tip. Most individuals show 0-1 inner post-juvenile moulted GC with somewhat darker and more glossy centre and very fresh olive-brown edges/tips. 
  • Juvenile TT are rather similar to juvenile GC, showing a brownish centre and broad warm buff edges widening at the tip. 1cy does usually not include any TT in the post-juvenile moult, but an odd moulted post-juvenile T is reckognized by being more fresh and dense, having a darker greyish centre and olive-brown edges (and lacking the wider pale tip).
  • Juvenile PC are fresh, often showing narrow pale tips.
  • Juvenlie RR are fresh and slightly more pointed than adult feathers. A few upper tail-coverts are often retained juvenile, showing distinct pale buff tips.
  • GC are worn pre-breeding feathers (lacking fresh buff edges and wide pale tips), and some individuals show 1-2 inner moulted post-breeding GC with somewhat darker and more glossy centre and very fresh olive-brown edges/tips.
  • Pre-breeding TT are worn brownish-grey, often lacking (worn off) pale edges. Many individuals have included some or all TT in the post-breeding moult. Such feathers are very fresh and show a dark greyish centre and olive-brown edges (and lacks the wider pale tip seen in juvenile TT).
  • PC (pre-breeding) are rather worn.
  • RR are usually uniform pre-breeding, but many are still in rather good codition (likely moulted during late winter). A few adult may have included 1-2 RR in the post-breeding moult.

1cy September. GC1-9 are juvenile while GC10 (partly hidden under the scapulars) is post-juvenile. Note the typical juvenile pattern with rather fresh buff edges and pale buff tips. [CV06213]

2cy+ August. Note the worn pre-breeding GC1-9 and the fresh post-breeding GC10. MC and LC also consists of both worn (pre-breeding) and fresh (post-breding) feathers. [CP46555]

1cy September. Uniform and typical juvenile TT, fresh with brownish centre and buff edges and tips. [CV06291]

2cy+ Augusti. Note the worn pre-breeding T in contrast to the two longer fresh post-breeding ones (contrasting well to the pre-breeding S6). [CP46555]

1cy September. The juvenile PC are fresh with pale tips during early autumn. [CV06213]

2cy+ August. The pre-breeding PC are rather worn, lacking pale tips. [CP46572]

1cy September. Juvenile rectrices are less dense and show more narrow tips than adult ones. Note also the still juvenile upper tail-c with broad pale buff tips. [CV06291]

2cy+ August. Dense feathers with blunt tips. Note that the RR are in rather good condition, despite being pre-breeding. Perhaps this is best explained by being moulted during late winter, just before spring migration. [CP46572]

More Muscicapa striata:
Ageing spring

Ringers’ DigiGuide is sponsored by: