Bird Word: Juvenile

  • Juvenile bird: a young fledged bird that has not yet reached sexual maturity.

One has to be careful with juvenile (or immature) birds. It can be tricky identifying them. This is because young birds recently out of the nest sometimes have non-adult plumage. Their colours and feather patterns can vary markedly from the adult plumage and markings. This can be so for as long as a year or more after hatching.

Most good Field Guides will show plumage variations either in the illustrations or explain them in the text – preferably both. Look for these variations when trying to identify a young bird.

Juvenile Striated Pardalote

Juvenile Striated Pardalote


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