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  • 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
    Maybe a pine grosbeak?
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peaceful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

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    • #3
      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.

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      • #4
        Maybe a greater Thrush
        "Life Is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing" - Helen Keller

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        • #5
          Possibly a Common Redpoll

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          • #6
            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.

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            • #7
              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.
              Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"
              http://www.alaskabackcountryhunters.org/

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              • #8
                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.

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                • #9
                  Click image for larger version

Name:	grey crowned rosy finch.jpg
Views:	1
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ID:	2491235Redpole on left......Grey Crested Rosy Finch on right.

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                  • #10
                    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

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                    • #11
                      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.
                      Click image for larger version

Name:	male grossbeak 003.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	74.2 KB
ID:	2491236

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                      • #12
                        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.
                        [ATTACH=CONFIG]77134[/ATTACH]
                        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.

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                        • #13
                          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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