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Archive for October 8, 2012

Juvenile European Starlings Molting

Unlike their greenish-black iridescent parents, this year’s young European Starlings had a drab gray-brown plumage through the summer.  During late summer and fall all starlings molt and black speckled feathers grow in.  There is a brief period of time when juveniles still have a pale tan head, before it, too, becomes speckled.    Even though both juvenile and adult European Starlings resemble each other by late fall, it is possible to tell this year’s young from adult birds. First-year starlings have more white speckles than adults, and their speckles are heart-shaped, as opposed to the V-shaped speckles of their parents.