Ageing Siberian Accentors

Published on 06 February 2018 in Main articles

By Gabriel Norevik and Magnus Hellström

Abstract Almost 200 Siberian Accentors were examined in the hand, the majority of these being passage or wintering birds in eastern China in autumn. In autumn, most Siberian Accentors are possible to age in the hand. Differences in the pattern of juvenile and adult-type greater coverts are the most reliable feature for ageing, but supplementary characters involving the tertial pattern, tail feathers and iris colour are described. Given high-quality photographs, it should be possible to use these criteria, with care, in the field also. Owing to individual and subspecies variation, a cautious approach when sexing Siberian Accentors is recommended.

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First-winter Siberian Accentor Prunella montanella, showing typical juvenile pattern of the inner and central greater coverts; Ottenby, Sweden, October 2016. Ottenby Bird Observatory