Two juveniles rest on a shell beach during southbound migration.
*First state record*. Essex, in a rain pool on a large lawn. Seen by many after first reported by Bill Meyers.
The male was perched in the same tree a couple feet above her. They copulated.
A spring-time grosbeak with faded-brown remiges--being the secondaries, primaries, inner greater coverts, primary coverts and alula--is a juvenile grosbeak, a first-cycle bird in its second-calendar year. The disheveled fresh feathers of the head and mantle are due to an ongoing prealternate molt. Concerning the flight feathers, two of the tertials are a result of preformative molt (having occurred sometime during June--December 2017 and perhaps later into winter 2018). Despite the worn condition of the tertials, their black coloration is in stark contrast with the older, faded-brown juvenile remiges. Thanks to the somewhat drooping position of the wing in photo number 1, the camera caught something noteworthy: the black contrast of the outer primaries (P7-P9). They too are a result of preformative molt. As Howell wrote, preformative molts have not been well studied, . . . but sometimes include tertials . . . but not other flight feathers. So I hope this photo has contributed its two bits to the ongoing unknowns of Rose-breasted Grosbeak molt.
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