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yellow wagtails flavissima - identification criteria (1 Viewer)

Michał Jaro

Well-known member
based on two birds: juv. and probably 2 years male, I would like to ask you about the separating criteria of flavissima from flava. Both birds have a yellowish supercillium, the older one has a yellowish top of the head (I don't know if it matters?). What are they missing from flavissim (apart from better photos :))
 

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Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Hello Michal,
I would like to learn, if this juvenile can be assigned to a ssp

For the adult bird:
difficult bird for me, but this is mainly about picture quality and colour assesment:

The question is: what was the exact colour of the supercilium? Any white or whitish tones there point to an hybrid
Same for the head: any greyish hues there point to an hybrid.

What was your impression of this bird in field regarding these two features? I am not sure with your pictures.

This is a compilation from helpful comments by Martin Gottschling here:
 

CARERY

Well-known member
Are you assuming everyone knows German, Alex? Or is then use of a translation tool standard meanwhile ;)...

For me the juv is not IDable on ssp. level. As for the adult, it seems to show somewhat more yellow on the crown/super as one would expect but should this really mean there is flavissima influence? I don't know...
 

THE_FERN

Well-known member
I admit I didn't really understand the question. However, I suggest the apparent yellowish supercilium in the adult is due to ambient light (compare with the branches in the pictures). I don't think you can accurately judge the colour here...
 

Alexander Stöhr

Well-known member
Are you assuming everyone knows German, Alex? Or is then use of a translation tool standard meanwhile ;)...
Yes, you are right, Roland. When I come here, I want to read comments in a language I and all others can understand.
Nevertheless, I sometimes post links in german language. I hope this is useful in times of googletranslate etc. .I use this sometimes, to read interesting and helpful comments in other languages and it works very well.
 

Michał Jaro

Well-known member
Thank you very much for the tips! But I don't agree that yellow is not yellow ;). The yellow supercilium can be seen in all the shots I have (I'm sending a magnification of the other side of the head). I do not know what would give such a light effect - yellow back and front part of the supercilium, the middle is brighter, the eye ring is white. The illuminated part of the head is slightly yellowish, elsewhere (back) completely gray. The ear covers are also yellowish in places. My question is rather - is this enough yellow for flavissima? Or maybe there are such types of ssp. Flava?
 

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lupokatja

Well-known member
Flavissima is not just flava with a yellowish supercilium, and there seems to be very little else suggesting flavissima. I agree with Roland, that while some yellow in the supercilium and the presence of yellowish/greenish feathers on the crown/nape are generally regarded as evidence of flavissima influence in flava birds also in the Netherlands, I doubt whether this is backed up by any data. Anyway, it doesn't seem to be enough to suggest a F1 hybrid to me. Perhaps I misunderstood, but I don't think any of the birds in the Clanga gallery you linked to are flavissima either.

Lützen Portengen
 

CARERY

Well-known member
I like that the YW on clanga.com is labelled as flavissima/lutea! A few years back there was a 'flavissima'-type YW here in NE Germany and I wondered how on earth can it be separated from lutea outside the breeding grounds...?

Anyway, in your bird I think it could well be pollen staining. They do like to hang out in rape-fields, don't they? I wouldn't call this a flavissima/lutea
 

TringBirder

Well-known member
The adult bird doesn't look like a male flavissima at all looking at the head colour. I don't see female flavissima that look like that either. It could be an intergrade and I wouldn't like to say which two taxa are involved in that, or it could just be a flava.

Cheers

Roy
 

Michał Jaro

Well-known member
I am very grateful for your help and explanations. Summary for me: Bird definitely not enough "yellow" to identify it as 2 year male flavissima or even hybrid.
For clarity - the birds of Clanga have been confirmed by the Polish Rare Birds Commission (ornithological)
 

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