Turdus merula - autumn

Common Blackbird / Koltrast

AGE - BEST CRITERIA:

In 1cy, 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 and freshly moulted plumage.
 
1cy: 
  • Most birds include 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 tertials, but some have included single or all three (and rarely also inner SS) feathers. The assessment of the tertials follow the same pattern as above: Obvious in males, while the female tertial generations are coloured as described for the GC.

2cy+:
  • Whole plumage fresh, lacking moult contrasts.
  • GC, PC and tertials are dense, fresh and black (males) or olive-brown (females).
  • RR are generally slightly broader, more blunt tipped and often in better condition.
1cy October (male). GC1-5 and GC10 are unmoulted juvenile (shorter and rusty olive-brown) in contrast to post-juvenile GC6-9 (longer, more fresh/dense and black). [4632734]
1cy October (female). GC1-3 are juvenile, slightly shorter and more rusty than the inner post-juvenile GC4-10. Note also that the juvenile GC and alula show a contrast to the post-juvenile CC, LC and MC. [4632672]
1cy October (male). This bird included all GC in the post-juvenile moult, and the contrast is found towards the juvenile PC. [4632552]
1cy September (female). Another one that included all GC in the post-juvenile moult. Note the more rusty tinged juvenile PC. [4632332]
2cy+ October (male). Fresh adult wing showing uniform, broad and rather dense GC and lack of any moult contrasts. [4632670]
2cy+ October (female), showing the female version of the adult wing. [4632682]
1cy October (male). 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 moult, but a few may show single or several post-juvenile RR. [4632673]
1cy October (female). Another set of uniform juvenile RR. [4632674]
2cy+ October (male). Adult RR are generally slightly broader, more blunt tipped and often in better condition. [4609546]
2cy+ October (female), showing variation. [4632677]
1cy October (male). Juvenile PC are slightly narrower, less dense and shows the same rusty hue as the juvenile GC. [4632673]
1cy October (female), showing variation. [4632672]
2cy+ October (male). Adult PC are slightly more dense, fresh and often a bit broader. Note the lack of contrast to the outer GC. [4609546]
2cy+ October (female), showing variation. [4632682]
1cy October (male). Most 1cy do not include tertials in the post-juvenile moult. However, exceptions are not very rare: this individual shows moulted post-juvenile inner two tertials (and also a post-juvenile S6). [4632552]
1cy October (female). A bird showing uniform juvenile tertials (in contrast to slightly less rusty post juvenile GC). [4632672]
2cy+ October (male). Adult tertials, showing lack of contrast to surrounding SS and GC. [4632670]
2cy+ October (female), showing female version of adult tertials. [7865412 ]
More Turdus merula:
Sexing autumn and spring
Ageing spring

Moult
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