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Number of species: 80

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Wood Thrush - Hylocichla mustelina

Wood Thrush can generally be aged by a combination of molt limits and feather condition. HY/SY individuals can be recognized by retained juvenile greater coverts with pale shafts or tips, but note that these can fade over time, therefore some intermediates may be difficult to assess by spring. Sex is reliably determined only via brood patch / cloacal protuberance during the breeding season.

Quick Tips:

  • Look at the greater coverts - on HY/SY birds, the innermost two are generally longer, while the remainder are retained juvenile feathers and often show buffy-white shaft streaks. However, the absence of such streaks is not a reliable indicator of AHY/ASY, as some HY/SY birds may lack these markings
  • Consider the shape of the rectrices - they are narrow and relatively pointed on HY/SY birds, but broad and relatively rounded on AHY/ASY birds
  • Examine the outermost primary (p10) - on HY/SY birds it is broad and 0 to 4 mm shorter than the primary coverts, while on AHY/ASY birds it is narrow, pointed, and 3 to 6 mm shorter than the primary coverts

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 / Unknown
Inner 1-4 (often 2) greater coverts usually longer than others, while remainder may have pale shaft streaks; p10 relatively broad and rounded; rectrices narrow and pointed
Thumbnail - MG2-2421-93991-Hylocichla_mustelina_AOU_7_52-3037.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2421-93991-Hylocichla_mustelina_AOU_7_52-3479.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2421-93991-Hylocichla_mustelina_AOU_7_52-3478.jpg
Date: Sep 25
Second year / Unknown
Inner 1-4 (often 2) greater coverts usually longer than others, while remainder may have pale shaft streaks; p10 relatively broad and rounded; rectrices narrow and pointed
Thumbnail - MG2-2421-70887-Hylocichla_mustelina_AOU_7_52-3038.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2421-70887-Hylocichla_mustelina_AOU_7_52-3138.jpg Thumbnail - MG2-2421-70887-Hylocichla_mustelina_AOU_7_52-3137.jpg
Date: May 15

Additional age / sex class descriptions

The following additional age / sex class descriptions were found for this species:
Age / Sex   Age / Sex class description
Juvenile / Unknown Distinct pale spotting on the head, back, and wings
After hatch year / Unknown Wing uniform in appearance; outermost primary (p10) narrow, pointed, short; rectrices broad and rounded
After second year / Unknown Wing uniform in appearance; outermost primary (p10) narrow, pointed, short; rectrices broad and rounded
Number of species: 80

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