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Aladdin Monday 24th September 2018 12:20

Common Starling plumage
 
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Dear members and bird watchers

I was in Liverpool in August 2018 to do 6 days of bird watching with the RSPB Liverpool Group. I had a fantastic time with some very friendly people.


I spotted this Common Starling at Manchester International Airport.

Im I right when I say that the first picture is a male in ALMOST winter plumage, black bill and not much colour in the plumage

I have put down the second picture as a Juvenile going into adult plumage, is this correct?

And one question, is there any difference between a immature and a juvenile. I know that the gulls are immature for a few years with different plumages for every year. But what about the Common Starling?

Kind regards
Aladdin

PYRTLE Monday 24th September 2018 12:28

You're correct on both counts. You can tell a male common starling in spring as the bill colour changes to almost completely yellow, with a bluish base. Otherwise in both sexes the bill is black.
Starlings attain adulthood in their second year as far as I'm aware, so a bird of this year will become an adult by next year.

Rotherbirder Monday 24th September 2018 12:30

Well researched; I think you're pretty well right with your age assessments there. As for the differences between juvenile & immature, there are threads on this forum where it is discussed at length, so you may care to search.

RB

PYRTLE Monday 24th September 2018 12:33

Great photos by the way which show the difference in the way the white feather markings are shaped.
Inverted pointed arrows on the adult and white " circles" on the moulting juvenile.

Aladdin Monday 24th September 2018 12:34

Thank you very much

Very interesting, especially with the bill colour. I was aware of the yellow bill during breeding, but not that it was the difference between the male and female during the summer or breeding as I say.

So this is a juvenile turning in to an adult winter plumage, FIRST WINTER and next spring the bill will be yellow or black depending on the sex

Thank you very much again

Welsh Peregrine Monday 24th September 2018 12:39

Adult bills are yellow in spring/summer, with a blue base for males, and pink for females. Black in both sexes in winter.

PYRTLE Monday 24th September 2018 12:41

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aladdin (Post 3767398)
Very interesting, especially with the bill colour. I was aware of the yellow bill during breeding, but not that it was the difference between the male and female during the summer or breeding as I say.

I should importantly have also said that adult females also show a yellow bill too without the bluish bill base.

Aladdin Monday 24th September 2018 12:44

Thank you again

Well, I love to learn and I will keep my eyes open for the bill colours next time in Europe. Hopefully in May with RSPB Liverpool Group

Cheers again and happy birding
Aladdin


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