Erithacus rubecula - autumn

European Robin / Rödhake

AGE - BEST CRITERIA:

In 1cy, moult contrast is present in GC, most often in the central part of the arm. Adult birds show a uniform and freshly moulted plumage.
 
1cy: 
  • Most birds included 3-6 inner GC in the post-juvenile moult. Juvenile outer GC show a slightly more rusty hue on the outer vane and generally rather wide pale rusty-buff tips. Inner moulted post-juvenile feathers are slightly more olive green in the outer vane. Many inividuals show no pale tips at all in the post-juvenile GC, but some do: such pale tips are generally smaller, narrower and often have a darker rusty colour than in the juvenile GC. Difference in wear between juvenile and post-juvenile GC in autumn is not always obvious in this species, but the structure of the post-juvenile GC are generally slightly more dense.
  • 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.
  • The inside of the upper mandible is rather variable, but generally distinctly paler than in 2cy+ birds, especially along the edges.
  • Juvenile PC are often slightly less dense and more loose/frayed than in adult, but difference is not always obvious. 
  • A moult contrast is sometimes seen in the CC/alula area, where CC and inner alula may be moulted post-juvenile.

2cy+:
  • Whole plumage fresh, lacking moult contrasts.
  • GC are uniformly olive with no pale tips, or with pale tips that are smaller, narrower, more distinct and often have a darker rusty colour than in the juvenile GC.
  • RR are generally slightly broader, more blunt tipped and often in better condition.
  • The inside of the upper mandible is rather variable, but generally distinctly darker than in 1cy birds, especially along the edges.
  • PC are slightly more dense, crisp fresh and slightly more olive.
1 cy September. GC1-5 are juvenile with a slight rusty hue and rather large pale rusty-buff tip, contrasting to post-juvenile inner GC6-10 which are more dense, slightly more olive tinged (less rusty) and lacking pale tips. Note that juvenile GC also show a slight contrast to the post-juvenile MC. [CS04357] 
1 cy September. Another individual showing juvenile GC1-5 in contrast to post-juvenile GC6-10. Note that this bird shows pale tips also to the post-juvenile GC. Compared to the tips of the juvenile feathers, they are smaller, narrower and have a darker rusty colour than in the juvenile GC. [CP47918]
2cy+ September. Fresh adult wing showing uniformly olive and rather dense GC and lack of any moult contrasts. This bird shows some weak pale tips to the outer GC, and some 2cy+ is much more pale tipped than this. [CV06546]
2cy+ September. Fresh adult wing lacking any moult contrasts. This bird shows no pale tipped GC at all. [CV06247]
1cy September. Juvenile RR are generally slightly more narrow and more pointed than in adult, but there is a variation in shape and difficult birds are sometimes seen. The structure is often helpful: less dense, less glossy and somewhat paler brownish than post-juvenile (or post-breeding) feathers. Most birds include no RR in the post-juvenile moult, but occasionally the central R1 may be included. [CP47918]
1cy September, showing variation in shape of RR. [CS04357]
2cy+ October. RR are generally slightly broader, more blunt tipped and often in better condition. [CP41627]
2cy+ November, showing variation in shape of RR. [CP42395]
1cy October. The inside of the upper mandible is rather variable, but generally distinctly paler than in 2cy+ birds, especially along the edges. [CP41505]
2cy+ October. The inside of the upper mandible is generally distinctly darker than in 1cy birds, especially along the edges. Note that the pattern shown here is merely an example, and some are paler. [CV53902]
1cy September. Juvenile PC are less dense and often slightly more worn and loose/frayed than in adult, but difference is not always obvious. In this individual, note the moult contrast between post-juvenile innermost alula (and CC, MC, LC) and juvenile outer two alula (and PC). [CS04357]
1cy October, showing variation in PC pattern and structure. In this individual the CC and alula is uniformly juvenile, in slight contrast to post-juvenile LC and MC. [CP47918]
2cy+ October. Adult PC are slightly more dense, crisp fresh and slightly more olive. Whole wing is uniform post-breeding. [CP41627]
2cy+ October. Rather difficult PC, but proven as adult by the presence of a retained/forgotten innermost PC. This feather is now >1 year old, heavily worn and bleached. Theoretically, if this feather could be specified as juvenile, the bird would be a 2cy autumn (and conversely, if the feather is a post-breeding one, the bird would be 3cy+). However, such assessment is indeed very difficult and risky. [CV52619]
1cy October. Iris rather cold brownish-grey. [CP41436]
2cy+ October. Iris generally slightly warmer brown. [CV53902]
More Erithacus rubecula:
Ageing spring

Moult
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