Thursday, 6 January 2011

Juvenile tawny frogmouth

Most of the tawny frogmouth chicks have fledged now and are roosting with the adults during the day. Here an adult male is next to a pine tree trunk with a large juvenile next to him. The young bird can be readily identified by the shorter bristles above its bill. The young bird's tail and wing feathers are also not fully grown yet although it has been out of the nest for over a month. Note the rounded end to the its tail compared with the sharp tip to the adult's tail feathers. Also, there are yet shorter feathers on the underside of the tail.

Seen from the top side, the young bird is noticeably more buff in colour generally, with less intricate dark markings on the coverts than on the adult. Also the difference in the roundness of the tail feathers is very clear. The edges of the wing feathers - the primaries and secondaries are all clean and smooth, unlike the adults' ones which are rough and jagged through wear and tear.

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