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Young Plumage II

January 22, 2015

DSCN4403A recent post described the marked difference in the plumage of immature or juvenile birds compared to the adults. For the past few weeks I have been spending some time in the ‘play-pen’ – a tumbled-down thicket of wattles and hakeas that seems to be the favoured hang-out of young birds of a variety of species awaiting the return of their parent bearing food. For some birds such as the Eastern Yellow Robin (Eopsaltria australis), pictured left, the immature bird looks just like the grown up, only more ‘manky’. The loss of a few more of those grey chest feathers and the bird pictured will almost look like a grown up. DSCN4174What was harder to pick (for me at least) was the identity of the chick pictured right. As ever, our local birdos Dave and Geoff came to the rescue with the answer (the same one in fact) – a juvenile Golden Whistler (Pachycephala pectoralis). The terms juvenile and immature are important in Golden Whistlers because the juvenile bird sheds its brown feathers for grey as it transitions to immature. DSCN4577As the picture to the left shows I should have waited for the parent to show up to identify the chick.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. ccobern permalink
    March 6, 2015 8:51 am

    Thanks Ron. You’ve helped me identify a mystery bird, which going by you’re photo looks like it was a juvenile Golden Whistler. Is ‘manky’ the scientific term for less distinct plumage?
    Regards, Chris Cobern.


  1. Young plumage III | Focus On Fauna

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