You all know this happened.

But there is some controversy over what kind of bird it is.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the bird was a finch. However, what kind? Most likely a house finch, because they are common, and the most likely to live in a big auditorium thingie and not be fearful of people.

A pic of the bird is above. Here is another:

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 5.35.55 PM

What do you think it is?


  1. #1 Desertphile
    March 26, 2016

    It was The Holy Spirit.

  2. #2 Pierre-Normand Houle
    March 26, 2016

    It likely was chirping the song: “What is it to bern” by Finch.

  3. #3 Donal
    Mt Washington
    March 26, 2016

    I can’t wait to see what SNL does with this.

  4. #4 Obstreperous Applesauce
    March 26, 2016

    I’m not a bird person, but near as I can tell from “All the Birds of North American” looks most like a house finch.

    Did someone say Birdie Sanders?

  5. #5 angela lloyd
    victorville, CA
    March 27, 2016

    a green (white) house finch

  6. #6 idunno
    March 27, 2016

    That’s a white house finch.

    Don’t tell Donald, but I hear that Bernie has twelve finches.

  7. #7 Douglas C Alder
    March 27, 2016

    My first thought on seeing the flash of yellow was that it’s a pine siskin. I have a lot of them in my yard each year and they are far “tamer” than sparrows.

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    March 27, 2016

    Angela, what is a green house finch? A variant of a house finch or some other species?

    I thought a “white house finch” was a color morph of a house finch. If so, this is not what of those because it is not white. But I don’t know my western birds very well.

  9. […] the Easter Bunny, who I believe is a friend of that bird that visited Senator Sanders the other day, left Bernie a nice basket last […]

  10. #10 Obstreperous Applesauce
    March 27, 2016

    Before I took a closer look, my first impression was a vireo. That’s the problem with going by color. The lighting, camera, and color context can be very deceptive.

    Going by color alone in the two shots above, you might be tempted to say it was two different birds.

    Aside from the overall form of the bird, a hard look at the patterns of light and dark on the folded wings and breast is revealing. To my untutored eye, it’s a reasonably close match to the female house finch in my guide.

  11. #11 David S
    March 27, 2016

    Evening Grosbeak

  12. #12 dhogaza
    March 27, 2016

    It’s a female house finch.

    “white house finch” above is a joke based on the office Bernie is running for, I’m sure.

  13. #13 Anon
    March 27, 2016

    Definitely not an evening grosbeak. Those are huge, bright yellow and black. This is either a pine siskin or a house finch in odd lighting.

  14. #14 daisy
    March 27, 2016

    It looks like a finch to me. Hard to tell from color, but it seems a bit greenish, which could be the female Goldfinch. The males are bright yellow, but the juveniles and females are more plain and can look chartreuse/ brown. They just showed up 2 weeks ago in Denver, so they’re coming back from migration.

  15. #15 Gilbert Wald
    United States
    March 27, 2016

    Female House Finch.

  16. #16 Susan Sass
    March 27, 2016

    After consulting my bird books, I think the bird on the podium was a female White-winged Crossbill and therefore a finch for sure.

  17. #17 Jill
    March 27, 2016

    It appears to be a Lesser Goldfinch, formerly known as a Green Backed Goldfinch.

    And the song is really lovely.

  18. #18 Bill
    March 27, 2016
  19. #19 dhogaza
    March 27, 2016

    Female house finch. It’s been confirmed (sigh).

  20. […] looking Hilary Clinton and a caption “I’ll get you and your little bird, too,” a reference to the finch that landed on the podium during a Bernie Sanders speech. It was posted by a progressive woman (a Sanders supporter) with a […]

  21. #21 Barbara
    Taos, NM
    March 28, 2016

    It’s a house finch, folks! Love Bernie.

  22. #22 Barbara
    Taos, NM
    March 28, 2016

    It’s a house finch, folks!

  23. #23 Ashley
    United States
    March 28, 2016

    Holy crap, Pierre-Normand Houle blew my mind with his comment! Love Bernie, love Finch, love Bernie and the finch.

  24. #24 BeSpoke Folly
    my house
    March 28, 2016

    Finch ?? hmmm My research tells me its an Omen Pigeon

  25. #25 Tess Elliott
    March 28, 2016

    Female or Juvenile House Finch. Hubby is mostly reddish in Spring.

  26. #26 Desertphile
    March 28, 2016

    BeSpoke Folly: “My research tells me its an Omen Pigeon”

    “Come with me, Mahhhhrk!”

  27. #27 beewest
    March 28, 2016

    I’d also say it’s a pine siskin. House Finches look more red. I have never seen a house finch looking this yellow.

  28. #28 beewest
    March 28, 2016

    Yeah, actually I think it is a female house finch after all. Beak is to big for pine siskin and females don’t have much red on them.

  29. #29 doug
    March 28, 2016

    When I first saw house finches about four or five years ago here in Calgary, I had a bit of a hard time identifying them. They have gone from being very rare here to quite common year-round residents. I often see them in with house sparrows, so it is necessary to look fairly closely to distinguish the females of the two species – they aren’t hard to tell apart, but you do have to see them clearly, since they are very similar in size, shape and “average” color.

    I’m quite fond of them. They sing big long strings of pleasant, musical random tweatelage (unlike the house sparrows).

  30. #30 Kathy Apodaca
    March 28, 2016

    It has a heavily-streaked breast, so it can’t be a goldfinch or lesser goldfinch, probably a female house finch and it’s just the lighting that makes it look yellowish.

  31. #31 Kristin Braly
    United States
    March 30, 2016

    I used my Audubon app to find this bird. The only bird that resembles this one and can be found in that area, and is the same size and shape, is the California Towhee. The bird family is New World Sparrows.

  32. #32 Dan Andrews
    April 1, 2016

    My first thought, like Douglas’, was Pine Siskin, but seeing the stills says otherwise.

  33. #33 Chris R. Smith
    April 10, 2016

    I think it’s a Black and Blue finch. My sister insists that it is white and gold though.

  34. #34 Janis Bunten
    Jacksonville Alabama
    April 13, 2016

    Pine siskin. It’s got a tiny bit of yellow. A female house finch is more whitish and brown. Also, pine siskins are known to be very unafraid of people. One landed on my son’s head once when we were on our porch!

  35. #35 Paul
    April 19, 2016

    I live in the neighborhood of the auditorium in Portland and I think it’s a female pine siskin. I’ve been watching them in my yard all year.

  36. #36 Jinny
    San Antonio
    April 25, 2016

    A bird landed on my head yesterday as my daughter and I were leaving the grocery store. Beat that, Bernie.

  37. #37 Vanessa
    April 29, 2016

    May I say what I believe in my soul… At a time in my life of extreme significance to me personally I had such a bird- but the male coloring- appear in a thunderous downpour at my window, yelling and beating his wings on the window. When I accepted what it was, it flew away. I know it was an emanation of God’s love. I have held it as one of the most sacred experience of my life. It still means everything to me. The female goldfinch that landed for Bernie, I am certain in my heart of hearts was -an emanation of the Holy Spirit. And we have all seen this too. I feel we are all beyond fortunate. Bernie has awakened and developed me closer to living from my spiritual center or soul and ability to live in unconditional love moment by moment when I am mindful. Seeing that beautiful bird has given me great hope for humanity.

  38. #38 Vanessa
    April 29, 2016

    I just did a search to see about birds in spiritual traditions. I am a Buddhist but interested in Christianity and so looked into the Bible references and there are many to sparrows which I then followed to links that explain “sparrow” is meant to include any little bird alike it. It says many things but one I found said it is a symbol of God’s concern for the meekest and weakest among us. I know Bernie shares that concern.

  39. #39 spixleatedlifeform
    Vancouver, WA
    May 7, 2016

    So no one has made mention of the difference between Bernie’s bird and Trump’s? (A Bald Eagle)
    Bernie’s bird attended his rally and said its piece.
    Trump’s bird attacked him.
    Nature DOES have a conscience and an opinion, as evidence clearly demonstrates.