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15 minutes ago, cccougar said:

Thanks for the link Charlie. How does a male become non-breeding? Is it seasonal? 

Yeah, many birds have non-breeding plumage in the 'off season'.

Breeding plumages are often pretty showy, to attract a mate or to let other males know they've wandered into someone else's territory.  When the breeding season is over and many species will replace their feathers (molt), they may change color schemes.  Some males have the new feathers come in with colors that are better camouflage and less likely to attract predators.   Females will get new feathers too, usually in colors pretty close to what they had, but they can also show some significant differences.  It all depends on the species.  And it's not just feathers.  Bills, lores and other body features can change colors and even shapes before and after breeding season.

Some young 'first year' males can leave the nest showing those non-breeding colors since they won't be mating soon.  Again, it all depends on the species.  You may already know that gulls, raptors, and some others may change color patterns several times as they mature, taking years to acquire adult breeding plumages.

By the way, I love Hoodies.  They're my favorite winter migrants.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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1 minute ago, cccougar said:

So, akandula, based on the yellow bill color of the pair in my first photo these are both female? 

Yes, based on bill color, eye color, and the "frosty" brown crest, the two birds in the first set of photos are adult females, as well as the two birds in the foreground of the second set of photos.

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