Regulus regulus - spring

Goldcrest / Kungsfågel


Autumn criterias are still applicable, though 2cy are more affected to wear during the winter than adult. Most individuals are possible to age on the shape of the RR alone, but more difficult tails are regularly seen. Moult contrast is present in the wing of 2cy, generally between post-juvenile MC and juvenile GC, but a few birds have also included some inner GC. However, these moult contrasts are generally difficult to detect, and great care should be taken since many birds also show 'false contrasts' created by a sudden change of the pattern on the inner GC. Adult birds show a uniform and freshly moulted plumage with broader and more blunt tipped RR.

  • In most birds, narrower and slightly more pointed RR than 3cy+, often with a typical juvenile quality (less dense, slightly more brownish and generally more worn). Note, however, that some are intermidiates in this respect and should be examined more thoroughly.
  • Juvenile PC are generally less dense, more brownish worn and slightly narrower than in adult, but differences are often very slight.
  • Those few individuals that have included inner GC in the moult show a contrast with the new feathers being slightly more fresh, more green in the tips and a very slightly darker centre.
  • Tips of RR generally blunter and broader, and the feathers are often of a generally better quality.
  • PC are generally more dense and darker grey with better gloss, but differences are often very slight.
  • Uniform wing lacking any moult contrast.
2cy April. Tips of RR on average more narrow, pointed and more worn than in 3y+. Note that left R2 is post-juvenile (still growing), probably a replacement after accidental feather loss. [SV2230]
2cy March. This individual show post-juvenile R3-4 (perhaps also R5) in the right half, while rest of tail is juvenile. [SN9804]
3cy+ March. Tips of RR on average more broad and blunt (and in better condition).  [SN9803]
3cy+ April, showing variation. [SN9803]
2cy March. Juvenile PC are generally less dense, more brownish worn and slightly narrower than in adult, but differences are often very slight. [SN9804]
2cy April showing some variation in colour, shape and wear to the PC. [SV2230]
3cy+ April. PC are generally in better condition (with greener edges and variably retained fine grey tips), more dense, slightly broader and and often more dark greyish in colour. [SN8693]
3cy+ April, showing variation. [SV2143]
2cy April. Like most birds this one show a complete set of juvenile GC, but note the 'false contrast between GC6 and 7 where the inner ones show a different pattern, but do not differ in wear or structure. [SV2230]
2cy March, showing variation. [SN9804]
3cy+ April. Uniformly post-breeding wing. [SV2231]
3cy+ April, showing variation. [SN8693]
2cy April. A few individuals (seemingly not this one) include single inner tertials, but differences between juvenile and post-juvenile/post-breeding tertials are very slight and the contrast is hard to detect. [SV2230]
3cy+ April. [SV2231]
More Regulus regulus:
Sexing autumn and spring
Ageing autumn

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