Orange-spotted Bluethroat in-the-hand

in Estonia, Part 2

Uku wrote previously here and this is a follow-up to that post.

This is the male White-spotted Bluethroat with an ‘orange spot’ (but still white at the feather bases and actually visible as such in the field).

“Hi Martin!
I had some fun ringing Little Crakes in Estonia (first ones ever ringed in Estonia). I managed to tease our weird Bluethroats in the process as well. Surprisingly we got two males (at least they didn’t have brood patch and would be very extreme-blue for females) from the same bush, which means they can have very small territories indeed. I think we don’t have any “normal” Whitespots left as one bird hasn’t got white spot at all (or actually very small white feather sometimes visible) and the other one is the “orange-spotted Whitespot” I mentioned in the previous post. The photos aren’t exactly the birdphotos of the year but we tried to keep the disturbance minimal and as we know, Bluethroats are very un-cooperative posers in hand. I cuddled them a little to make the feather bases visible.
Uku Paal”

This is a male White-spotted Bluethroat with limited white spot which can be invisible at times in the field.

One thought on “Orange-spotted Bluethroat in-the-hand

  1. nilsvanduivendijk

    Wow, as far as I know the first alive orange-spotted in the hand, great job. In Leiden museum there are some very little orange tipped spring cyanecula but this is the real thing! Also it is clear from these pics that the spot-feathers are not retained post-breeding ‘winter-feathers’ but as fresh as the rest of the pre-breeding moulted breast-feathers (hypothetical maybe some individuals are orange spotted because they retained the then faded winter-type ‘spot-feathers’, which seem the case in a Dutch bird which returned several springs).
    The question remains: what are these birds?? just orange-spotted pure cyanecula or intergrades?


Leave a Reply