Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Aging and sexing a kestrel, take 2

Well, in my last post I commented on not being entirely sure about aging and sexing this bird since Sibley shows females as having whitish napes (rather than the buff of this bird) despite female-type wings and flanks.
Now being the proud owner of the Wheeler hawk guide, the correct conclusion would appear to be that it is an adult female.  First year birds of either sex have the "correct" wing color; this isn't a species where all young birds look like females for their first year or so.  It's apparently an adult because of the buffy nape, juveniles show whitish here (the whitish shown on the bird captioned female in Sibley).  

Random fact of the day gleaned from Wheeler:  the black "fake eyes" on the back of the head are apparently called 'ocelli.'

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