David Scarboro's picture

Unidentified bird

Observed: 2nd October 2013 By: David Scarboro

A bit larger than a thrush, with no speckling on the breast but some speckles on the head. We've had three or four in the garden at once. Could it be a juvenile?

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Common Blackbird (Turdus merula) interacts


chrisbrooks's picture

ID comment

Undergoing a moult probably, the head feathers are usually the last to be replaced.

David Scarboro's picture


OK, they're blackbirds. I thought they were larger than your average blackbird and the plumage seemed wrong. None of my bird books or apps show blackbirds looking like these. But they don't fit with any other type of thrush either. Thanks for your help!

Bill Henderson's picture



The support you get from this group is first class. There are a lot of experts giving imput.

It's a great resource.

Keep posting.


Bill Henderson

the naturalist man's picture


If you look at a close-up of the head you can see the feathers are still in their sheaths, hence they look weird. If you saw the same bird a few days later the feathers would have emerged and the bird would look normal.

This process of new feathers appearing lasts only a couple of days and is different for each bird, and its condition at the time (stress causes moult to take longer); therefore, it is never illustrated in books.

Graham Banwell

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