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Common Starling plumage

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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 12:20   #1
Aladdin
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Common Starling plumage

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.

IŽm 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
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 12:28   #2
PYRTLE
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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.

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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 12:30   #3
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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
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 12:33   #4
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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.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 12:34   #5
Aladdin
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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
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 12:39   #6
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Adult bills are yellow in spring/summer, with a blue base for males, and pink for females. Black in both sexes in winter.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 12:41   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
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.
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Old Monday 24th September 2018, 12:44   #8
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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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