Feeder ID - Leucistic Goldfinch?

michey1st_gw Zone 7December 10, 2013

Hey there! I'm a newbie bird nerd in Maryland, and a first time poster here on the bird-watching forum *waves*

This afternoon, I spied an unusual goldfinch at my thistle feeder. He/she is struggling with getting the hang of the upside-down feeder (unfortunately, a necessity due to an overabundance of HOSP) and is shown here sharing a perch with one of the regulars. Is this a leucistic goldfinch? Apologies for the crappy photo - my cell camera leaves a bit to be desired >.Your help is appreciated!

Kindest regards,

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Welcome Michele! Not sure but it looks like it's in the midst of changing from its summer feathers to the drab, olive one for winter...

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 11:58PM
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I think it may be a leucistic junco. I've seen photos of four or five of them looks just like the one in your post. Here's a link to a birdwatch site. Scroll down a bit and there is an whole series of pics of one.

Here is a link that might be useful: leusistic junco

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 4:05PM
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michey1st_gw Zone 7

Thank you for the warm welcome and information, Surya and Calliope!

I'm not sure it's a junco, as behaviorally and size-wise, it was really behaving like a goldfinch. My Juncos don't really care for any of my feeders, and this little guy went straight to the thistle. BUT, the more I research, the more i'm leaning towards some form of leucistic variety (leucisism?).

He did seem to get picked on by others, although to be fair, a few of them are ornery and territorial little buggers that fight with anything that comes close.

I wish I had another snow day today so I could see if he returned, but alas, it all melted and I had to go to work =(

Thank you both for chiming in!

    Bookmark   December 11, 2013 at 8:47PM
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If this bird comes back, could you try to snap another photo or two? I'm having trouble making an ID from this photo.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2013 at 5:16PM
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michey1st_gw Zone 7


Thanks for jumping inI definitely will give it another go! I should get some decent birdwatching in on Saturday morning, although we are looking at a day of snow, sleet and freezing rain -- no telling what will venture out for a nibble! I will update this post if I manage to get another (better) photo.

Thank you and have a great weekend!

    Bookmark   December 13, 2013 at 7:48PM
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I'd say leucistic gold finch. Not sure. After following this forum for a while I've come to believe that albino refers to totally white (pink eyed bird). Partial albino is a bird with some white, but not all. Leucistic is a lighter colored bird perhaps retaining some markings and color.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2013 at 12:11PM
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