Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Rough lookin' Bluebirds

I'm no expert on molt, but it appears these two motley blue birds are in a late summer molt!  They may also be juveniles.  Any bluebird or molt experts want to weigh in?

These birds were seen the last weekend of August near Herrick Reservoir.  I believe the top one is a Western Bluebird as I see a hint of rusty flanks.  The bottom one I believe is a Mountain Bluebird due to a thinner all dark bill.

1 comment:

  1. According to BNA online hatch year birds (which these appear to be) go through a partial molt from late summer to late fall involving body (contour) feathers. Also younger birds have looser, fluffier contour feathers which can give them a sort of disheveled look so it's probably a combination of both. But note that the wing feathers look quite crisp and unworn which is typical of young birds.