hard to ID

by Brook
(Troutdale, OR)

Hi Pacific Northwest friends, Brook here. I have seen this bird for the second year now but only once each year. I don't have a clue. It's head and breast are bright red and this was last week, it's lower belly is a faint yellowish hue. From the back it's wings are brown and look like a female house sparrow but the markings are the same yellow as the low belly. I didn't not notice the color of the legs but the beak looked possibly finch or grosbeak or maybe not, it was larger than a house finch and smaller than a grosbeak and was at sitting on my gate. Audubon didn't know and I can't find it in Sibley's or anywhere else.

Comments for hard to ID

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Jul 27, 2014
hard to id NEW
by: Brook

Hi Susan and Judy, as odd as it seems this has to be a large male house finch in breeding plumage. He would be gorgeous male I've ever seen if it were breeding season but I feel bad for the poor fellow. I'm fairly certain it was him that I saw through the tree branches last summer too. After extensively searching online this is the only description that is possible. Has anyone ever ran across a bird so out of season like this?

Jul 26, 2014
Red Crossbill? NEW
by: Judy-Seattle

Hi Brook! Looking in my "Birds of the Puget Sound Region" book, I think the Red Crossbill might fit your description. The book says the males' plummage is variable, "generally brick-red, sometimes orange, yellowish-brightest on the crown and rump. FEMALE:Olive-yellow." I have never seen one.

Jul 26, 2014
hard to id NEW
by: Brook

This bird was bright, bright red like the red on a Hairy Woodpecker and the red was uniform all the way down the breast. Can that fit a Purple finch?

Jul 26, 2014
Purple finch NEW
by: Susan

My first thought was a Purple Finch. Have you already crossed that off the list of possibilities.?

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