Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Sexing Goldfinches update.

No I haven't had a change of mind about my previous post but I have added the following illustration to it. I have tried to show examples of the head pattern of male and female Goldfinches that I have photographed in the style of the illustrations in Svensson. I may add other material to the post from time to time when items of interest or new information becomes available.

The forecast is looking good for the morning so I hope to have a net up if it is overcast and the breeze is light enough. I did manage to get a net up in the garden in a brief weather window last week and the last bird caught was a cracking adult male Goldfinch and a control.

This adult male has a very rich and extensive crimson mask and the lesser coverts are mainly glossy black although a few have some very fine brown fringes. I will post details of the original ringing detail when we receive them in due course but judging by the ring number it is probably at least 3 or 4 years old.
There appears to have been a bit of turnover in the Goldfinches recently as I have also photographed a ringed bird that I know I haven't caught this winter. I managed to read part of the number on the ring from some of the photographs but couldn't read enough of them to identify the individual. Hopefully it will find its way into a net.

The ring on this fine adult male starts with an X and I haven't retrapped any of that sequence this winter or last autumn for that matter. I wonder where he has been for the past six months?
If I do manage to catch a few Goldfinches in the morning I am sure there will be one or two that will have me scratching my head when it comes to sexing them. Sorry, I know its a bit corny but I couldn't resist using that saying with this photo.......

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