Sorry again I am late this month – it is a busy time of year for me.
This month we have another one of those birds that refuses to let us
see its head. If we could see the face I am sure that you would have
all got it correct, but we can’t so we have use what we can see.
Overall the bird appears grayish, with black and white in the wings
and tail. Other than that it has a yellowish collar around the back of
the head. We don’t have too many yellow birds in Utah, especially
yellow birds with black and white wings. I think there are only 3
possibilities: Evening Grosbeak, Lesser Goldfinch, and American
The American Goldfinch has distinct wing bars. The quiz bird doesn’t
have any wingbars, but instead has a big white patch at the base of
the primary feathers. Lesser Goldfinches have a nice wing patch, but
they would have an all greenish back and neck, not a contrasting
collar. Female Evening Grosbeaks, like our quiz bird do.
If you look at the
Evening Grosbeak female
in Sibley’s, it shows the breeding female having a lot more white in
the wing, but the National Geographic guide seems more accurate. Even
better, check out the variety of
female Evening Grosbeak photos on the
utahbirds website and compare them with the goldfinch photos [American,
. There is a picture by Eric Peterson of
2 female grosbeaks on a feeder that
look exactly like the photo quiz bird, except you can see their bills
There was 1 answer for Black-headed Grosbeak. The wing pattern is very
similar to this bird, but the rest of the bird doesn’t match up. A
male would have an obviously orange collar and rump. A female would be
browner (including wings) and have a streaked back.