Date: 10/11/18 1:02 pm
From: Joe Roller <jroller9...>
Subject: [cobirds] Intriguing photo from Boulder County. Seek opinions.
I received the photo (below) from Dave Hyde, taken in Nederland Oct 10, by
a nameless photographer.

It's an intriguing bird, so I thought I'd share it on COBirds.
My first reaction was leucistic Dark-eyed Junco. Leucistic, not albino,
based on
the dark iris and black on wings. Albino would be all white and have a pink
iris. However (by coincidence I think),
it does come close to what a breeding plumage McKay's Bunting would look
like!
Why is it not a McKay's Bunting? That species molts to non-breeding plumage
in August, per Sibley,
plus it's an Alaskan bird with only a few reports from the coast of
Washington and Oregon (per
eBird) and I see no reports from farther south or east of there.

Snow and McKay's Buntings have dinky, dark bills, and the mystery bird
shows a larger, pale bill,
compatible with leucistic junco.

THANKS, Dave, for presenting this puzzle.

Joe Roller, Denver

[image: unnamed-7.jpg]

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