Juvenile male Oriental Magpie Robin moulting

posted in: Morphology-Develop. | 2

The head, upper side and upper breast of the adult male Oriental Magpie Robin (Copsychus saularis) is glossy black. The lower breast to vent is white while there is a broad white wing stripe and white outer tail feathers.

The female is different from the male in that the black body plumage is replaced by dark grey. The juvenile male looks like the female except that the upper parts are somewhat darker, soon showing some glossy black feathers.

The images above show a juvenile bird undergoing active moulting into an adult plumage. The feathers at the back have become darker, not so those around the head, which are still grey (left). The upper breast has become mostly black, with patches of grey remaining (right). Apparently the feathers around the head will be the last to take up the adult form.

Images by Lena Chow

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2 Responses

  1. Hi Lena: Interesting! You don’t say where you saw the great songster leh? Are they back in Singapore? Pray tell.. Cheers, KF

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  2. Hi KF, I saw this one at the Botanic Gardens. I think they are making a slow comeback.

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