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Old 04-18-2013, 03:01 PM   #1
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Default Aging and Sexing Blue Jays Guidelines

Aging and Sexing Blue Jays Guidelines
McGILL BIRD OBSERVATORY
MigrationResearch.org

Migration Research Foundation - McGill Bird Observatory - Photo Library - Blue Jay
excerpt from above:
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QUICK TIPS:
1) Look at the alula and primary coverts - on HY/SY birds they are brownish/grayish and unbarred, and on AHY/ASY birds they are blue with prominent dark bars.

2) Check for moult limits among the greater coverts - HY/SY birds often retain dull grayish blue outer coverts contrasting with brighter blue inner coverts, while on AHY/ASY birds all greater coverts are bright blue with dark barring.

3) Look at the upper mandible lining - on HY/SY birds a mix of white and black, on AHY/ASY birds mostly to entirely black…
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:10 PM   #2
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Look at the alula and primary coverts - on HY/SY birds they are brownish/grayish and unbarred, and on AHY/ASY birds they are blue with prominent dark bars.
Fine... But could someone please tell me what all those abbreviations stand for so I can begin to understand, and what the heck is an alula or primary coverts? I would guess feathers of some sort after they had mentioned primary but beyond that???? I'm totally lost!
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:18 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by havalotta View Post
Fine... But could someone please tell me what all those abbreviations stand for so I can begin to understand, and what the heck is an alula or primary coverts? I would guess feathers of some sort after they had mentioned primary but beyond that???? I'm totally lost!
Hava, those abbreviations are standard among ornithology, especially with regard to bird banding data. Of course, what many forget is that most folks are not ornithologists, and so why would they be familiar with those abbreviations, right!?

Here's a link that lists the codes/abbreviations used by bird banders, and what they mean. Bird Banding Laboratory

More later on those feathers. I have a nice diagram, somewhere... BTW, the alula are short little funny feathers located at the birds' wrist (kinda like a thumb) and aids in flight manuevering, especially when landing.
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:28 AM   #4
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Here's a decent diagram of wing feathers
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Aging and Sexing Blue Jays Guidelines-winguper.jpg  
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:32 PM   #5
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Thank you
Now on to what is meant by HY/SY birds????
What I'm gathering from the info is... on a younger bird there is more grey and less blue and bars in the feather markings.
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