Acrocephalus arundinaceus
English: Great Reed-Warbler.
German: Drosselrohrsänger.
French: Rousserolle turdoïde.
Order: Passeriformes.
Family: Sylviidae.
19-20 cm.
The Great Reed-Warbler could be confused with the Eurasian Reed-Warbler, which is a smaller version of the Great Reed-Warbler and very similar in color. They differ in size and voice. The song of the Great Reed-Warbler is louder and coarser. The head and beak are proportionately larger, the beak might resemble that of a thrush, thick and long. The tertials are longer and the edges of the primaries stand out with a lighter color.
In this species, sexual dimorphism cannot be appreciated through the plumage.
It is possible to recognize 3 different ages:

Juvenile specimen: they have a new plumage, first generation in primaries, secondaries and tertials. The iris is dark gray and in the tongue, the juvenile specimen has two black dots.

2nd year specimen: they can only be distinguished in individuals with olive brown iris.

Adult specimen: in the autumn months they have a more worn plumage. The iris is reddish brown and in turn, the tongue lacks spots.

At the end of the prenuptial molt process, the age cannot be dated using the plumage.
The Great Reed-Warbler performs a partial postnuptial molt in which it changes the body feathers and in some individuals, the median and lesser coverts. Other specimens may include the greater coverts and the central pair of tail feathers in this process.

Juvenile specimens perform a partial post-juvenile molt with a process similar to the adult specimen.

Both age classes perform a prenuptial molt in the wintering areas.
Primaries: 10 per wing.
Secundaries: 9 per wing.
Rectrices: 12.


Adult specimen:
Beak tip to pupil center:

Adult specimen


1.- Left wing primaries. 2.- Primaries. 3.- Details of P10. 4.- Details of the most worn tips of the primaries. 5.- Details of the most worn tips of the primaries. 6.- Details of the primaries. 7.- Details of the inner vane of the central primaries. 8.- Details of the inner vane of the outer primaries. 9.- Details of the outer vane of the primaries. 10.- Secondaries and tertials. 11.- Secondaries and tertials. 12.- Details of the tertials. 13.- Details of the tips of the secondaries. 14.- Details of the outer vane of the secondaries and tertials. 15.- Details of the inner vane of the central secondaries. 16.- Primaries, secondaries and tertials. 17.- Above: Secondary covert. Bottom left: Alulas. Bottom right: Primary covert. 18.- Primaries, secondaries, tertials. Primary covert and greater covert. 19.- Details of the greater covert. 20.- Primaries, secondaries, tertials. Primary covert and secondary covert (G, M and L). Alulas. 21.- Rectrices. 22.- Rectrices. 23.- Rectrices + uppertail coverts. 24.- Rectrices + undertail coverts. 25.- Details of the tips of the rectrices. 26.- Details of the rectrices. 27.- Chest and flank feathers.

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