purplerabbits's picture


Observed: 18th July 2009 By: purplerabbitspurplerabbits’s reputation in Birdspurplerabbits’s reputation in Birdspurplerabbits’s reputation in Birds

A Juvenile, to judge from the even more topheavy than usual look

Species interactions

No interactions present.


bobthebirder's picture


The dark crown is also indicative of a juvenile, as are the very short wings.

Bob Ford

the naturalist man's picture


I agree for all the mentioned reasons.

Many young birds have smaller wings because the flight feathers are produced quickly and 'cheaply' to get the bird up and flying. Therefore, such feathers are often paler, lighter and/or translucent; they also wear quickly all because they are so shoddily made. These feathers will be replaced in a second moult within a few weeks, six months tops for the larger species. Hence you only see juvenile small passerines up to Christmas time.

In times of poor food availability individuals may postpone moulting leaving a bird with mainly adult plumage but also some juvenile feathers. An interesting study would be to assess how successful such birds are in their first breeding season. In woodland passerines how much of the female's selection process is based on song and how much on plumage?

Graham Banwell

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