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Number of species: 72

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Common Yellowthroat - Geothlypis trichas

Sex of Common Yellowthroats is generally easy to determine by facial plumage alone, but age can be trickier to ascertain, especially for females, and particularly in spring, and some intermediates cannot be reliably aged

 

Quick Tips:

  • Look at the face - only males have a black mask, but note some HY males (especially in summer to early fall) may also be entirely lacking black
  • Look at the tail - HY/SY birds have uniformly narrow and pointed rectrices OR contrastingly fresh and broad replaced central rectrices, while AHY/ASY birds have uniformly broad and relatively rounded rectrices (although by spring, some intermediates may be indistinguishable)
  • Look at the primary coverts - on HY/SY birds they are browner and more worn than the greater coverts, while on AHY/ASY birds they are uniform in colour and wear with the greater coverts; however, the contrast on HY/SY birds can be quite subtle, and should not be used as the sole ageing criterion unless it is particularly distinct  

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 
Juvenile / Unknown
Brownish, with buff wing bars
Thumbnail - IS2-2810-94622-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-4721.jpg Thumbnail - IS2-2810-94622-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-4722.jpg
Hatch year / Male
Mottled black facial mask, molt limit between olive-tinged greater coverts and browner primary coverts, primaries, and secondaries; relatively narrow, pointed, and worn rectrices
Thumbnail - MR3-272080534-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-1549.jpg Thumbnail - MR3-272080534-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-1550.jpg Thumbnail - MR3-272080534-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-1551.jpg
After hatch year / Male
Solid black facial mask; uniformly greenish wing; relatively broad and rounded rectrices
Thumbnail - MR3-272080538-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-1545.jpg Thumbnail - MR3-272080538-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-1546.jpg Thumbnail - MR3-272080538-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-1547.jpg Thumbnail - MR3-272080538-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-1548.jpg
After hatch year / Female
Lacking black in the face; throat pale to bold yellow; uniformly greenish wing; relatively broad and rounded rectrices
Thumbnail - MR3-272080340-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-1534.jpg Thumbnail - MR3-272080340-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-1535.jpg Thumbnail - MR3-272080340-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-1536.jpg
Second year / Male
Black facial mask, sometimes with a bit of mottling; molt limit between olive-tinged greater coverts and browner primary coverts, primaries, and secondaries; relatively narrow, pointed, and worn rectrices
Thumbnail - MH3-NA_277-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-703.jpg

Thumbnail - MH3-NA_546-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-1081.jpg Thumbnail - MH3-NA_546-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-1080.jpg

Thumbnail - MG-NA_609-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-1176.jpg
After second year / Male
Solid black facial mask; uniformly greenish wing; relatively broad and rounded rectrices
Thumbnail - MH3-NA_467-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-970.jpg

Thumbnail - MH3-NA_545-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-1079.jpg

Thumbnail - IS2-2750-66557-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-4718.jpg Thumbnail - IS2-2750-66557-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-4719.jpg
After second year / Female
Lacking black in the face; throat pale to bold yellow; uniformly greenish wing; relatively broad and rounded rectrices
Thumbnail - MH3-NA_275-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-701.jpg

Thumbnail - MH3-NA_276-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-702.jpg

Thumbnail - MH3-NA_466-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-969.jpg

Thumbnail - IS2-2810-94438-Geothlypis_trichas_AOU_7_52-4557.jpg

Additional age / sex class descriptions

The following additional age / sex class descriptions were found for this species:
Age / Sex   Age / Sex class description
Hatch year / Unknown Lacking black in the face; throat pale yellow to buff; molt limit between olive-tinged greater coverts and browner primary coverts, primaries, and secondaries; relatively narrow, pointed, and worn rectrices
Second year / Female Lacking black in the face; throat pale yellow to buff; molt limit between olive-tinged greater coverts and browner primary coverts, primaries, and secondaries; relatively narrow, pointed, and worn rectrices
Number of species: 72

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