AGE – BEST CRITERIA:
Autumn criterias are still applicable, though 2cy are more affected to wear during the winter than adult. In 2cy, moult contrast is present in GC, most often in the central part of the arm. Rarely, all GC are included, and a contrast is then seen towards the juvenile PC. Adult birds show a uniform plumage, lacking moult contrast.
- Most birds included 4-8 inner GC in the post-juvenile moult. In males, the contrast to the outer juvenile GC is striking (black against rusty olive-brown). In females, the fresh inner post-juvenile coverts are slightly darker and colder olive-brown, in contrast to outer, shorter and more rusty-brown juvenile coverts. In birds that included all GC in the post-juvenile moult, the contrast is seen towards the still juvenile rusty olive-brown PC.
- Juvenile RR are generally slightly more worn, narrow and more pointed, but difficult birds are sometimes seen. The structure is often helpful, with the juvenile feathers being slightly less dense, less glossy and somewhat paler brownish. A few birds include single, or several, RR in the post-juvenile moult, showing two generations of RR.
- Juvenile PC are often slightly more rusty, narrower, less dense and more loose/frayed than in adult. The difference is obvious in males but more subtle (but still rather clear) in females.
- Most birds show uniformly juvenile TT, but some included single or all three (and rarely also inner SS) feathers in the post-juvenile moult. The assessment of the TT follow the same pattern as above: Obvious in males, while the female tertial generations are coloured as described for the GC.
- Whole plumage in rather good condition, lacking moult contrasts.
- GC, PC and TT are dense, fresh and black (males) or olive-brown (females).
- RR are generally slightly broader, more blunt tipped and often in better condition.