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Number of species: 72

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Pine Warbler - Setophaga pinus

The plumage of Pine Warbler varies by age and sex, but only subtly, and for many individuals, age is reliably confirmed only through skull ossification in fall, and sex through brood patch or cloacal protuberance during the breeding season

Quick Tips:

  • Examine the wing for a molt limit on HY/SY individuals between pale brownish primary coverts with little or no edging and darker, fresher greater coverts; AHY/ASY birds have a more uniformly dark wing, although the difference between ages can be subtle
  • Check the shape of the outer rectrices - on HY/SY birds they are fairly pointed and often abraded, while on AHY/ASY birds they are broader, fairly rounded, and more likely to remain fresh, but many intermediates occur that are unhelpful for ageing
  • Consider the colour of the back - in fall, it is olive-brown on males, dull green on AHY females, and brown on HY females; in spring it is green on ASY males, greenish on SY males, dull green on ASY females, and brownish on SY females
  • Consider the colour of the underparts - in fall, AHY males have a yellowish breast and white belly, HY males have a buffy-yellow breast and whitish belly, AHY females have a greenish-yellow breast and white to buff belly, and HY females have buffy underparts; in spring, ASY males have a yellow breast and white belly, SY males a yellowish breast and whitish belly, ASY females a greenish-yellow breast and white to buff belly, and SY females a yellowish breast and buffy belly

Species account prepared by McGill Bird Observatory

Click on any image below to bring up the side-by-side comparison tool.
Age / Sex  Image sets 
Hatch year / Male
Back olive-brown; breast buffy-yellow; belly whitish; faded brownish primary coverts contrasting with darker greater coverts; rectrices relatively narrow and tapered
Thumbnail - MG2-2600-17228-Setophaga_pinus_AOU_7_52-2705.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2600-17228-Setophaga_pinus_AOU_7_52-2703.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2600-17228-Setophaga_pinus_AOU_7_52-2704.jpg
Date: Sep 20

Additional age / sex class descriptions

The following additional age / sex class descriptions were found for this species:
Age / Sex   Age / Sex class description
Second year / Male Back greenish; breast buffy-yellow; belly whitish; faded brownish primary coverts contrasting with darker greater coverts; rectrices relatively narrow and tapered
After second year / Male Back green; breast yellow; belly white; minor contrast between primary coverts and greater coverts; rectrices relatively broad and rounded
Hatch year / Female Back brownish; breast yellowish-buff; belly buffy; faded brownish primary coverts contrasting with darker greater coverts; rectrices relatively narrow and tapered
After second year / Female Back dull green; breast greenish-yellow; belly white to buff; minor contrast between primary coverts and greater coverts; rectrices relatively broad and rounded
Juvenile / Unknown Brown above and buff below, with buff wing bars
Second year / Female Back brownish; breast yellowish-buff; belly buffy; faded brownish primary coverts contrasting with darker greater coverts; rectrices relatively narrow and tapered
After hatch year / Male Back brownish-olive; breast yellowish; belly white; minor contrast between primary coverts and greater coverts; rectrices relatively broad and rounded
After hatch year / Female Back dull green; breast greenish-yellow; belly white to buff; minor contrast between primary coverts and greater coverts; rectrices relatively broad and rounded
Number of species: 72

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