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Need help with ID - seen in Southern CA (Bakersfield) (1 Viewer)

onyerleft

New member
I've done a lot of looking in books and online but I'm stumped:

Very pale green head and body
Black and white wings/tail
Striking thin black mask, which turns down to a point behind eyes
4-6 inches long
Pair seen perching in a small tree

Please excuse newbie description, & thanks in advance :)
 

Microtus

Maryland USA (he/him)
Supporter
United States
Bakersfield is in the valley, the kinglets are still on their breeding grounds high above in the mountains. (This is assuming the OP is literally in Bakersfield.) "Perching in a tree" to me implies relatively sedentary behavior that I don't associate with a kinglet.

And welcome to onyerleft, by the way.
 

onyerleft

New member
Thanks for your helpful suggestions. I should add a few other observations:

I didn't get a good look at both, and it was likely a male-female pair. The one I saw didn't have a crest so I don't believe it was a Waxwing. It was too big for a Kinglet, although by the shape of its head and beak it might have been some kind of Warbler. Microtus, they were actually very active and vocal, flitting about. The underside of the tail was white with a black stripe down each side.

Next time I'll have the camera ready.
 

Parula6

Well-known member
Sounds like a goldfinch, either Lesser or American. The eyestripe you describe isn't normal for either species, but pretty much everything else you list can apply to females of either species. American has a white tail bordered by black sides; Lesser's tail is white with a black end. Both have tails which are distinctively notched at the end, and they're both usually pretty vocal, issuing contact calls.
 

MichavdB

Well-known member
Thanks for your helpful suggestions. I should add a few other observations:

I didn't get a good look at both, and it was likely a male-female pair. The one I saw didn't have a crest so I don't believe it was a Waxwing. It was too big for a Kinglet, although by the shape of its head and beak it might have been some kind of Warbler. Microtus, they were actually very active and vocal, flitting about. The underside of the tail was white with a black stripe down each side.

Next time I'll have the camera ready.

Can you describe the sound?
 

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