My name is Joe. I'm a birder from Pennsylvania who just moved
to California, and during the move, I had my first and only
encounter with rosy-finches! I am having some trouble with the
ID though. I found your website, which has some awesome
pics/info, but I'm still not sure my bird's ID. I got some
pictures and was wondering if I could share them with you, or
someone else you'd recommend, and get your opinion on the ID.
On Sun, Nov 28, 2010 at 3:43 PM, Ken Schneider wrote:
Yes, please send your photos. If you don't object, I will also ask
for opinions from experts on the Sandia Crest Birding Forum.
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2010 20:27:23 -0800
From: Joe Yuhas
To: Ken Schneider
They are attached. [SEE PHOTOS IN NEXT POST TO THIS SUB-FORUM]
No objections to asking other opinions. Maybe I should have mentioned first, they weren't taken at Sandia Crest. They were taken at the West Summit in Shoshone National Forest at about 10,900 ft. This is just off Rt 212 (Beartooth Highway) just after crossing into Wyoming when coming from Red Lodge, Montana.
My vote is for Black Rosy-Finch. The overall appearance of the breast, belly, and back feathers being black-centered is what I'm going by. Maybe those brown and gray edges will wear away with time leading to it being more clearly black? Head pattern doesn't seem to be any help to me. Juvy bird coming into 1st winter plumage? I remember seeing signs of molt, I think in uneven tail feathers. Can't wait to hear some other opinions.
Thanks, Joe-- I posted your photos in the ID section of the Rosy-Finch Forum.
Although I am not an expert, I tend to agree with your analysis. There is too much pink for a Gray-crowned, and the feather bases do appear to be black rather than dark brown. This bird seems younger than many I have seen at Sandia Crest. One year, before the banding project got underway, we had many like this early in the season and we argued about whether they were Brown-capped or Black. We ended up calling them "Rosy-Finch sp." or "buffies." The banding team has been quite flawless in identifying the species of these younger birds, as verified by recaptures.
Please let us know the date that the photos were taken. You may reply directly on the FORUM if you wish. Register if you want to receive copies of subsequent posts,
I invite other readers of the FORUM to express their opinions about the ID of this bird by replying here, in the Species Age and Sex Identification Sub-Forum.