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Old Monday 4th April 2011, 12:47   #1
aushalk
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? Snow bunting in backyard UK

This is the third time I have seen a pair of these guys in a mixed goldfinch flock at my backyard feeder. Just about had time to grab my camera to take a shot. I am afraid it was very overcast day and I was too panicky

Is this a snow bunting or a brambling

Many thanks in advance

Regards
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Old Monday 4th April 2011, 12:50   #2
Barred Wobbler
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Chaffinch
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Old Monday 4th April 2011, 12:51   #3
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Looks like a leucistic Chaffinch to me.
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Old Monday 4th April 2011, 12:56   #4
aushalk
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OK thanks
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Old Monday 4th April 2011, 13:12   #5
aushalk
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Just on second thoughts, isnt it odd to have two leucistic birds together. They are far from the normal colour of chaffinches
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Old Monday 4th April 2011, 13:15   #6
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You didn't mention two. Anyway, this one is a chaffinch. If there's two I guess it increases the chances of them just having hopped out of a cage together rather than being wild.
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Old Monday 4th April 2011, 13:21   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aushalk View Post
This is the third time I have seen a pair of these guys in a mixed goldfinch flock at my backyard feeder. Just about had time to grab my camera to take a shot. I am afraid it was very overcast day and I was too panicky

Is this a snow bunting or a brambling

Many thanks in advance

Regards
Hi I would say thats a Hybrid chaffinch x brambling and as someone else has said an escapee
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Old Monday 4th April 2011, 13:22   #8
chris butterworth
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Semi-albino Chaffinch ( White patches, not 'overall bleached out' look you would get if they were leucistic ). The fact there are two birds probably indicates they are from the same brood.

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Old Monday 4th April 2011, 13:53   #9
_pauls
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Originally Posted by BuckeyeAZ View Post
You didn't mention two.
Oh yes he did!

I'd agree that this is a partial albino or leucistic individual but given that it is with a flock of goldfinches, is it not a partial albino goldfinch?
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Old Monday 4th April 2011, 14:08   #10
BuckeyeAZ
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I must read more carefully I must read more carefully I must read more carefully I must... :-)
No, it's (wholly or largely) a chaffinch. See the wing pattern.

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Old Monday 4th April 2011, 14:17   #11
RoyW
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _pauls View Post
I'd agree that this is a partial albino or leucistic individual but given that it is with a flock of goldfinches, is it not a partial albino goldfinch?
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris butterworth View Post
Semi-albino Chaffinch ( White patches, not 'overall bleached out' look you would get if they were leucistic ). The fact there are two birds probably indicates they are from the same brood.
It's a leucistic Chaffinch.
If you look at the plumage that does show normal colours you will see that it is a perfect match for a male Chaffinch, but the colours present do not fit Snow Bunting, Brambling or Goldfinch (finch species do often mix).

As for whether it is an albino or leucistic, that is potentially a very long debate - the two terms are generally poorly defined and misused to such an extent that it is difficult to work out what is correct!
Albinos are not necessarily white, they only lack melanin (so an albino animal that naturally also has other pigments can still show colour). Leucism can affect all pigments in skin, fur, and feathers, but does not affect eye colour, and typically also doesn't affect the colour of the bill and legs in birds.
Basically it's complicated!


I agree that if two birds are present there is a chance that the two are related somehow - I don't see why it should suggest that they are escaped cage birds though.
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Old Monday 4th April 2011, 16:06   #12
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not wanting to get into debate about the meaning of the words - this is a leucistic male chaffinch.
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Old Monday 4th April 2011, 21:16   #13
aushalk
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These guys were visibly bigger than a goldfinch and probably chaffinch. They seem to prefer feed on the ground or the feeder a few inches above the ground (the blackbird feeder) rather than the hanging feeders. Chances are they might be back and I will be able to get a better shot

Just out of interest, why do we think they have escaped a cage??

Many thanks all

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Old Monday 4th April 2011, 21:48   #14
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No-one said they had. I said that 'If there's two I guess it increases the chances of them just having hopped out of a cage together rather than being wild.' - i.e. it's more likely that two recently-escaped birds would stay together for a short while than that two brood-siblings would have stayed together for 9 months since fledging.
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Old Monday 4th April 2011, 21:51   #15
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Buckeye, your not a teacher by any chance are you? you appear to me to be a bit aggressive and tend to talk down to people.
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Old Monday 4th April 2011, 23:59   #16
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Blimey, no-one's perfect but as a teacher myself I'd say those are two of the least likely attributes you'd expect from one. My teachers in the 70's may have been like that - I know some were - but you certainly won't get very far in a school these days acting like that. Sheesh.....

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