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Thread: what bird?

  1. #1

    Default what bird?

    I live in Willow, and my bird feeder is usally frequented by chickadees, a nuthatch or two and the occasional camp robber. But yesterday, I saw a bird on it I couldn't identify. Slightly smaller than a robin, it had a light gray breast, ruddy red head, reddish brown back and wings with short dark and light bands on the ends of its wings with a short forked tail. Any ideas? thanks.

  2. #2
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Maybe a pine grosbeak?
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  3. #3
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Yea, sounds like a grosbeak. The females are a mustard color and the males are reddish. They dont seem to be as colorful in AK as the photos I see in bird books. Neat birds to see and this is the time of year I usually start seeing them here in Willow.

  4. #4

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    Maybe a greater Thrush

  5. #5
    Member BRWHUNTER's Avatar
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    Possibly a Common Redpoll

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWHUNTER View Post
    Possibly a Common Redpoll
    I checked all of these birds, but not a match. I can usuallyu figure out what I've seen, but not this time. But, thanks.

  7. #7
    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Maybe a greater Thrush
    there is no such bird as a "Greater Thrush".
    i would bet money it was a grosbeak, the color variations are huge.
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  8. #8
    Member cod's Avatar
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    We have Grosbeaks on the deck all winter long. I assure you they can be every bit as colorful as any books pictures. However they also come in all manner of various phases. Another possible candidate that generally shows up about this time of year is the rosy crested finches. They have been showing up here for the last month. Both of these species generally flock up a bit. Especially the latter. I'll see if I can post some pics later.

  9. #9
    Member cod's Avatar
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    grey crowned rosy finch.jpgRedpole on left......Grey Crested Rosy Finch on right.
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  10. #10

    Default

    How about a red crossbill? Your descriptions are vague. A picture would be helpful. But based on your limited information I ran a search on the following website.

    http://www.whatbird.com

    Under the search link I selected the following criteria.

    Red as the a primary or prominent color
    Alaska as the state observed in
    A small sized bird (5-9 inches)
    An unfrequent visitor to a bird feeder

    By selecting this criteria it narrowed down the possibility to this bird. Try for yourself.

    http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/357...Crossbill.aspx

  11. #11
    Member cod's Avatar
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    Default male grossbeak

    Male and female grossbeaks can have quite a bit of variance in coloration. Some males have more red than others. The females are generally a grayish hue but can have all manor of variances of olive coloration and some may have even a bit of the males redishness around the head at times. But about same size as males.
    male grossbeak 003.jpg
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by cod View Post
    Male and female grossbeaks can have quite a bit of variance in coloration. Some males have more red than others. The females are generally a grayish hue but can have all manor of variances of olive coloration and some may have even a bit of the males redishness around the head at times. But about same size as males.
    male grossbeak 003.jpg
    Probably depends on size. In this case size does matter. A pine grosbeak is about the same size as a robin (9-10 inches). A red crossbill is slightly smaller (5-7 inches). The person giving the description labeled it as slightly smaller than a robin. The descriptions are kind of vague to me. Again a picture would be much more helpful.

  13. #13

    Default

    After drawing valid conclusions from all of you plus more googling, it is 90% sure to be a female Pine Grosbeak. I've never seen it here before or since. Hope it comes back. Thanks everybody.

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