Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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[Mystery bird] American Goldfinch, Carduelis tristis, photographed in Buffalo Bayou in West Houston, Texas. [I will identify this bird for you tomorrow]

Image: Joseph Kennedy, 15 February 2009 [larger view].

Nikon D200, Kowa 883 telescope with TSN-PZ camera eyepiece 1/320s f/8.0 at 1000.0mm iso40.

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

Review all mystery birds to date.

Comments

  1. #1 biosparite
    February 26, 2009

    Escaped canary!

  2. #2 Erpentes
    February 27, 2009

    I spent awhile trying to figure out what this might be the juvenile form of, because I couldn’t think of any tiny yellow finch-billed birds with no significant markings. But does this bird actually lack markings, or are they just carefully out of sight?

    I’m going to call this an American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis), winter plumage … and carefully perched to prevent us from seeing its wings! None of the other yellow finches are plausible. This bird is too yellow to be a pine siskin, not yellow enough to be Lawrence’s Golfdinch, and lacks the cap of the Lesser Goldfinch.

  3. #3 Margie
    February 27, 2009

    I’m going with Lesser Goldfinch dressed for winter. I’m saying Lesser Goldfinch due to the color of the bill and the white patch on the abdomen. This bird looks a great deal like the Lesser Goldfinches that are visiting my thistle feeder here in Reno.

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