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.