Arnhem AEB413

18 October 2014, Meijendel, Wassenaar, the Netherlands

© 2018 by Vincent van der Spek

ID IBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF ON PLUMAGE & STRUCTURE (2017)

Figure 1. Iberian Chiffchaff, The Hague, The Netherlands, 12 April 2016

Background

The plumage features of Iberian Chiffchaff have been described by several sources, like Van Duivendijk (2011) and Demongin (2016). Here I show these features (adults only) on photographs.

Note: plumages of both Common Chiffchaffs and Iberian Chiffchaffs are variable, there's a lot of overlap, so it's about combination of features and they are supporting characters only. The structural differences are useful, but I would never ID a non-vocal bird based on plumage and structure alone. 

Plumage

- Well marked supercilium, more so than in Common Chiffchaff, with yellow lores. In some even entire supercilium yellow(ish).

- Eye-ring said to be less conspicuous that in Common, but I found many well-marked eye-rings in Iberian

- Largely white underparts with some yellow feathering on the breast; no faint breast band

- Often with yellowish undertail coverts, often buffy or whitish in adult spring Chiffchaff
- Reddish brown to even orange brown legs (most obvious at rear side). In Common Chiffchaff  grey brown to ink black

 

Figure 2. Iberian Chiffchaff, The Hague, The Netherlands, 12 April 2016

Figure 3. Iberian Chiffchaff, The Hague, The Netherlands, 15 July 2017 /
Common Chiffchaff, Meijendel, Wassenaar, The Netherlands, October 2013

Figure 4. Iberian Chiffchaff, The Hague, The Netherlands, 15 July 2017. Note that this bird is in its post-breeding moult (Gerjon Gelling).

Figure 5. Iberian Chiffchaff, The Hague, The Netherlands, 15 July 2017
(Gerjon Gelling).

Structure
- Longer bill than Common Chiffchaff
- Longer tail
- Longer, and IMHO also sturdier legs
- More pointed wing: in Common Chiffchaff P3-5 of the same length, in Iberian P5 markedly shorter.
- Longer primary projection: 50-60% in Common, >= 70% in Iberian

Figure 6. Iberian Chiffchaff, The Hague, The Netherlands, 12 April 2016

Figure 7. Iberian Chiffchaff, The Hague, The Netherlands, 15 July 2017
(Gerjon Gelling).