Mystery bird

Tamsey and the Bird Dog sent this set of pictures taken outside their home near Ely, Minn.
They write:
“This little guy came to our feeder this morning (Sunday) and has hung around all day — as you can see in one picture he is the size of a siskin. We poured through the bird books — any idea? He is feisty as he chases other birds out of the feeder.”

I suggested it might be an albino. They wrote back, pointing out that it has black feathers.
Oh, yeah.
So it’s a mystery to me, too. Any suggestions out there?

Your answers, questions, pictures and stories about birds welcome at:

8 thoughts on “Mystery bird

  1. Snowbird? Who is that s/he hanging out with — purple finch? Maybe just a weird coloration of a purple finch?
    Can’t wait for someone with more experience than me to weigh in.

  2. quite sure this is an example of partial albinism – if you use your favorite search engine and look at the images you’ll find many examples. Try a partial albino robin for instance……….

  3. For all of you “want-to-be” bird watchers please be informed: according to Field Guide to Birds of N. America (Kaufman) there is no such listing of a “snow bird”; there is a Snow Bunting however.

  4. Leucistic- siskin- sounds good- I looked it up. Thank you. It has a light yelow tinting around the rump like a siskin.Too small to be a bunting, and I agree about there is no specific snowbird- the”snowbirds” seen up here in N. Mn are usually juncos. We have not seen him now for 2 days, nor the siskins he was with- they have moved on, replaced by tons of juncos.

  5. Thanks for the clarification — snow ‘bunting’ is what I meant! Ha.
    I had thought it was larger, wrong again with the guess on the purple finch.
    Love the site. Thanks.

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