Young male Spotted Pardalote?

To: Nick Payne <>, "" <>
Subject: Young male Spotted Pardalote?
From: Damien Farine <>
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2014 04:21:04 +1000
Hi Nick,

You are mostly correct. This bird is probably not a juvenile, but rather a bird in it's second year that is slowly acquiring its full adult plumage. It has almost all of the adult plumage (spots on the wings and so on), but still has a few juvenile feathers (most of it's tail for example). Many birds don't get a full adult plumage in their first year (even European tits, despite the fact that they live less than 2 years on average), and this is particularly prominent in Australian birds which are generally longer-lived than their northern-hemisphere counterparts. 

What is particularly interesting about the pardalotes is that we seem to get a disproportionate number of adult males in their 1st and 2nd year come through the ACT in the autumn and winter. Still haven't figured out quite what's going on with that.

All the best,

Date: Sat, 12 Jul 2014 12:47:30 +1000
Subject: [canberrabirds] Young male Spotted Pardalote?

While cycling yesterday along the Federal Hwy near the Sutton overpass, 
we came across this bird in the breakdown lane. It was alive, with no
visible injuries that we could see, but it couldn't/wouldn't move or
fly, and subsequently died. Is this bird a juvenile - it doesn't seem to
have the full complement of markings on either the back or chest, but
when I look at my ACT bird atlas, it shows the breeding season as being
approximately September-February, not this time of year at all.

Larger versions of the two photos available here:

Nick Payne

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