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Number of species: 82

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Tennessee Warbler - Oreothlypis peregrina

Tennessee Warbler has a partial preformative molt that occurs primarily before migration or at a molt-migration stopover site, and a limited prealternate molt that is restricted to the head and throat. Older (definitive cycle) males are often readily recognizable by their overall plumage, but other age/sex classes can be more difficult to determine reliably, and may require consideration of multiple features.

Quick tips

  • Look at the crown and nape - on DCB/DCA (AHY/ASY) males the blue-gray crown contrasts sharply with the green nape, on FCA (SY) males the gray crown contrasts distinctly with the green nape, on DCB/DCA (AHY/ASY) females the grayish-green crown contrasts only slightly with the nape, and on FCF (HY) birds and FCA (SY) females the crown and nape are almost uniformly dull grayish-green.
  • Examine the tail - on FCF/FCA (HY/SY) birds the rectrices tend to be fairly narrow and pointed and generally lacking white; on DCB/DCA (AHY/ASY) birds they are relatively broad and rounded at the tip, and the outermost 1-2 feathers may have some white near the tip.
  • Look at the primary coverts - on FCF/FCA (HY/SY) birds they tend to be narrow and generally somewhat paler or browner than the greater coverts; on DCB/DCA (AHY/ASY) birds they are relatively broad and uniformly green with the greater coverts.
  • Consider the colour of the underparts - in spring and summer, DCA (ASY) males are almost entirely white, while FCA (SY) males and DCA (ASY) females usually are whitish with some yellow tinges, and FCA (SY) females have a faint yellowish tone overall; in fall, DCB (AHY) males are whitish with a yellowish tinge, while all others are primarily yellowish.

Species account prepared by McGill Bird Observatory (2016). Last updated by Marcel Gahbauer (Mar 2022)

The molt categories displayed below may be filtered by month.

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Click on any image below to bring up the side-by-side comparison tool.

Individuals not in molt

FCJ - (HY: June - July)
Grayish wash above; wing bars yellowish
No images available yet
FCF - (HY: July - December; SY January - April)
Rectrices somewhat narrow and pointed and usually lacking any white; primary coverts fairly narrow and brownish, contrasting with greener greater coverts; crown and nape uniformly dull grayish-green
U
Thumbnail - MG2-2630-68660-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2753.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2630-68660-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2751.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2630-68660-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2752.jpg
FCA - (SY: February - August)
Rectrices somewhat narrow and pointed and usually lacking any white; primary coverts fairly narrow and brownish, contrasting with greener greater coverts; crown and nape uniformly dull grayish-green (F) or contrastingly gray crown (M)
M
Thumbnail - MG2-2630-61957-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2729.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2630-61957-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2727.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2630-61957-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2728.jpg
F
Thumbnail - MG2-2550-81622-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2735.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2550-81622-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2733.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2550-81622-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2734.jpg
DCB - (AHY: June - December; ASY January - April)
Rectrices usually broad and rounded, sometimes with white spots on outer feathers; primary coverts greenish, contrasting only slightly with greater coverts; crown and nape mostly grayish-green (F) to slightly more gray on the crown (M)
M
Thumbnail - MG2-2530-52307-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2768.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2530-52307-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2766.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2530-52307-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2767.jpg
F
Thumbnail - MG2-2530-52026-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2762.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2530-52026-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2760.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2530-52026-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2761.jpg
DCA - (ASY: February - August)
Rectrices usually broad and rounded, sometimes with white spots on outer feathers; primary coverts greenish, contrasting only slightly with greater coverts; crown slightly more grayish than nape (F) or distinctly blue-gray (M)
M
Thumbnail - MG2-2630-69155-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2747.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2630-69155-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2745.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2630-69155-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2746.jpg
F
Thumbnail - MG2-2630-69065-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2744.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2630-69065-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2742.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2630-69065-Oreothlypis_peregrina_AOU_7_52-2743.jpg

Individuals in active molt

FPJ - (HY: June - July)
Similar to FCJ; some natal down remaining and/or juvenile flight feathers still growing in
No images available yet
FPF - (HY: July - August)
Similar to FCF; median and greater coverts and sometimes the greater alula being replaced
No images available yet
FPA - (SY: January - April)
Similar to FCF; some head and throat feathers being replaced
No images available yet
SPB - (SY: June - September)
Flight feathers being replaced, with retained juvenile primaries, secondaries, and/or primary coverts distinctly pale brownish gray and very worn
No images available yet
DPB - (AHY: June - September)
Flight feathers being replaced, with retained primaries, secondaries, and/or primary coverts either distinctly adult (relatively gray, less worn) or intermediate
No images available yet
DPA - (ASY: January - April)
Similar to DCB; some head and throat feathers being replaced
No images available yet

Applicable unknown plumage/age classes

Molt classes Age Months Key traits
M-FPF / UPU (FPF, SPB, DPB) U July - August Undergoing preformative or prebasic molt, but cycle is not reliably distinguishable
M-FCF / UCU (FCF, SCB, DCB) U/AHY July - April In formative or basic plumage (molt completed), but cycle is not reliably distinguishable
M-FPA / UPA (FPA, DPA) AHY January - April Undergoing prealternate molt, but cycle is not reliably distinguishable
M-FCA / UCA (FCA, DCA) AHY February - August In alternate plumage (molt completed), but cycle is not reliably distinguishable

Number of species: 82

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