Turdus merula - spring

Common Blackbird / Koltrast

Autumn criterias are still applicable, though 2cy are more affected to wear during the winter than adult. In 2cy, 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 plumage, lacking moult contrast.
  • Most birds included 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 included single or all three (and rarely also inner SS) feathers in the post-juvenile moult. 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.

  • Whole plumage in rather good condition, 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.
2cy March (male). GC1-4 are unmoulted juvenile (shorter and olive-brown with a slight rusty hue) in contrast to post-juvenile GC5-10 (longer, more fresh/dense and black). [4610036]
2cy March (female). GC1-4 are juvenile, slightly shorter and more rusty than the inner post-juvenile GC5-10. Note also that the juvenile GC and alula show a contrast to the post-juvenile CC, LC and MC. [4611511]
2cy March (male). This bird included all GC in the post-juvenile moult, and the contrast is found towards the juvenile PC. [4603551]
2cy March (female). Another one showing a more extensive post-juvenile moult: apart from GC2, all GC was included. Note the contrast to the more rusty tinged juvenile PC. [4609841]
3cy+ March (male). Uniform adult wing showing broad and rather dense GC and lack of any moult contrasts. [4603557]
3cy+ March (female), showing the female version of the adult wing. [4603556]
2cy March (male). Juvenile RR are generally slightly more narrow, pointed and worn 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. [4603551]
2cy March (female). A uniformly juvenile tail (the brownish right R1 does not differ in wear or structure and is probably best explained as a photographic artefact, perhaps caused by a different angle to the camera flash). [4609841]
3cy+ March (male). Adult RR are generally slightly broader, more blunt tipped and often in better condition. [4609797]
3cy+ March (female), showing variation. [4609798]
2cy March (male). Juvenile PC are slightly narrower, less dense and shows a clear brownish hue. [4603551]
2cy March (female), showing variation. [4611511]
3cy+ March (male). Adult PC are slightly more dense, fresh and often a bit broader. Note the lack of contrast to the outer GC. [4603560]
3cy+ March (female), showing variation. [4611526]
2cy March (male). Most birds do not include tertials in the post-juvenile moult. However, exceptions are not very rare: this individual shows moulted post-juvenile inner two tertials.  [4603551]
2cy March (female). The two inner tertials are juvenile while the outer is moulted post-juvenile (as is S6). [4611511]
3cy+ March (male). Adult tertials, showing lack of contrast to surrounding SS and GC. [4603557]
3cy+ April (female), showing female version of adult tertials. [4611526]
More Turdus merula:
Sexing autumn and spring
Ageing autumn

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