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Monday, January 26, 2009

A REAL green-morph Pine Siskin (I think)

Well, after waffling on Friday's unusually pale Pine Siskin, today I had another individual (not the same bird) which appears to be the real thing (!). This bird is also considerably more washed-out on the underparts than normal Siskins, but its upperparts appear to be largely as dark a shade of brown as the others, not the washed-out, diluted, color of Friday's bird. What's more, this one has immense amounts of yellow in the bases of the remiges and rectrices which were striking even to the naked eye, in addition to the strongly yellow undertail and uppertail areas. There was a definite greenish tint on the mantle (stronger in some views than in others), and some yellowish in the flanks and neck as well. Thoughts on this bird would be welcomed in the comments box.

Here is the only comparison shot which includes a normally-plumaged PISI.


Curtis Dykstra said...

Nice bird Caleb. Check out the Stokes Birding blog for some more photos/info.

For more info get the PDF of:
Mclaren, I. A., J. Morlan, P. W. Smith, M. Gosselin and S. F. Bailey. 1989. Eurasian Siskins in North America—distinguishing females from green-morph Pine Siskins. Am. Birds 43: 1268–1274, 1381
at this link:

My only note so far is that the bird on the Stokes blog looks like it's got rather sharp streaking on the breast and flanks compared with your bird having faint streaking.

Curtis Dykstra said...

One more note...if you look at fig. 2 in the Mclaren article I think we've found your bird...faint streaking and all.

sitta said...

Hey Caleb-
We're seeing the occasional green-morph here in central NY, with hordes of the regular variety putting a big hurt on the seed in most people's feeders! Are you going to go after those ivory gulls on the coast? Lots of folks from the Lab have made the trip out already...


Dave Slager said...

Hey Caleb,

I definitely haven't seen a PISI like this before. Nice shots.

From everything I can gather from the McLaren article, this bird seems consistent with a green-morph PISI.


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