Date: 8/26/20 4:56 pm
From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman...>
Subject: [obol] finch
Hi -

Opinion seems to be coalescing on second-summer male Purple Finch in molt, as the identity of this bird, and this may well be correct. Some comments have suggested that its appearance is fairly normal for this age/molt stage. If this age diagnosis is accurate, however, it means that the red/pink/purple-tipped feathers all have to be new feathers, as this molt would be where red/pink/purple colors first appear. And if that is the case, the disheveled appearance particularly of the crown, eyes, and face must mean something else is going on (injury? skin disease?). IMO these feathers are not all new, i.e., this bird is older.

I have not studied molting Purple Finches, and do not have much knowledge of the appearance of birds of this age, but several aspects of its appearance conflict with my preconceptions. I hope that banders and other OBOLites with more relevant experience can address this mismatch:

1. The patchy tawny color on the belly (e.g., frame 7340) seems wrong for any Haemorhous species?
2. My impression of Purple Finch wings and tail are that they should be "colder" - less tawny? Are these colors typical?
3. Is the bill shape (degree of curvature of culmen and width across the base of the mandibular sheath) within the normal range for Purple Finch?

Thanks

Wayne

 
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