Friday, 14 September 2007

Middle Spotted Woodpecker: juvenile ID

Black areas of plumage on juvenile Middle Spotted Woodpeckers are less glossy than on adults. Recently fledged birds have brownish greater wing coverts whereas adults have totally black greater wing coverts. White areas of wing-coverts and scapulars have brownish marks. White upper-parts are buffer with some brownish feather tips. White under-parts are greyish rather than yellowish. White on face smudged with grey. Red crown is duller and mottled with grey feather tips. Some red feather tips on hind-crown. Under-tail is a paler, washed out pink and the coloured area is smaller than on adults, not reaching the belly. Some fine, thin barring on flanks, not as heavy markings as adults. Eye grey-brown (in adult dark red). When crown raised, feathers are visibly shorter than on adult. Vent and under-tail coverts washed out, pale pink. Juvenile male have smaller and duller red crowns than adults and the red is flecked with grey or black feathers, especially at the rear and sides. Juvenile females look like juvenile males except the pale red crown patch is often shorter and smaller and the hind-crown is grey-black not golden as adult female. However, many juveniles will be difficult to sex in the field.

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