Orange headed bird about the size of a sparrow

by Louise
(Prince George, BC Canada)

Saw this bird in our backyard. It is grey with black but the strange thing is the head is completely orange. With the flash on it looks yellow but with the naked eye it is orange. Have never seen this before and could not find it in the books. He was in a cranberry bush and seemed to be eating the seeds. He was not really scared of me which seemed strange so maybe he is sick. Was puffy from either the cold or being sick. However, the other birds that day were not puffy. The temp was about -14 Celsius. I am in Prince George British Columbia which is central/northern BC. Would have loved a picture without the puffiness but....

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Mar 08, 2016
Orange headed sparrow
by: Robert

Bowness area in Calgary.

I've lived in this area since 1974 and have never seen this orange headed sparrow with some that have the orange on its back and wings. I'm not a birder but would also like to know what type of bird this is. All of January, February and now March have been very mild this year.

Jan 19, 2016
Saw this in Prince George also
by: Anonymous

We have a small flock of 6 of these birds that come and go. They have been around for a couple months now (Nov 2015 - Jan 2016). So far no one, even my bird "expert" friends, have been able to identify it. Would love to know what is.

Dec 19, 2015
Saw this bird too!
by: Anonymous

We had this bird in our backyard today in Surrey, BC. We've been putting seed and suet out, so I guess word got out! Sure would like to know what it is...

Jul 15, 2014
Pine Grosbeak
by: Susan

I got out my bird book on Birds of the Interiior BC and the Rockies. I believe it is a Pine Grosbeak. The female has an orange head whereas the male has a rose-coloured head. Common in the winter on northern plateaus.

Jul 15, 2014
We saw one too in Arizona
by: Anonymous

7/15/14 -- We saw this bird in an area of mesquite/scrub desert about 80 miles east of Phoenix in the lower mountains (3500 ft. elevation). Like you we cannot find this bird in any of the bird books we own or with a google search. There was a female with him that looked very sparrow-y with the larger wing bar.

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