Greater Victoria, Gulf Islands, Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo and Centrial Island, Port Alberni, Tofino, North Island
#89929
Hi all, I was just wondering because there seems to be 2 black headed grosbeaks visiting my feeders with a group of pine siskins, I have been trying to photograph them, but they are most likely females, or juvenile males who are associating with the pine siskins. I was wondering if this is a common winter bird in Victoria and if not, any opinions on what species they are.
Thanks in advance,

- Adam
#89932
Usually Black-headed Grosbeaks are here (South-west coast) in the summer only but I guess with everything that is going on in the world it wouldn’t be impossible for there to be a couple of stragglers still around.
The only species that I can think of that comes remotely close is a Spotted Towhee.
It would be great if you could get a picture.
#89934
This would be good to confirm as no-one has reported Black-headed Grosbeak on eBird for the Victoria Area recently. It would be unusual for a BHGR to winter here, but who knows.

If you can share a few photos, any quality, that would help.

Thanks,
#89938
I have been trying to photograph it, but she is quite well camouflaged with the pine siskins.
On second thought, after a good hour and a half of recherche and observation she seems like a first winter female rose breasted grosbeak. I will post a photo when I have one.

Happy Birding
- Adam
#89939
Hey Adam,

This sounds like it is worth checking out. Both Black-headed Grosbeak and Rose-breasted Grosbeak would be a great find for this time of year. I recommend summoning an expert birder to come and have a look. Victoria has been having an exceptional year for rare birds and the possibility of one more would be exciting!

http://www.vicnhs.bc.ca/?page_id=1435

I am high Quadra/Beckwith. There are also some experts in Oak Bay who could nip over for a peak. If you are game, one person would come have a look and if it is indeed a rare bird, they would ask permission before releasing details to the community. This bird would be good to confirm and no harm if it is something else--you never know what shows up here.

Cheers,
#89941
No worries. Happens all the time.

For a bird ID in question, it is good to share as much information as you can. Size compared to a common bird (Crow sized, Robin sized, Red-winged blackbird sized, Sparrow sized, Chickadee sized), colors of various body parts, shape of bill, and what the bird is doing.

If the match seems to be Purple Finch (uncommon for Oak Bay), I would suggest further comparing to House Finch (male/female).

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Pur ... e/63736771

Cheers,
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