This forum is for asking questions and providing answers on bird identification. New and visiting birders are encouraged to ask and participate.
By Pkorner
Hi everyone;

First off, apologies for the terrible image quality - it was damp yesterday so I left my gear mostly at home, not expecting to see much. However, out at Tsawassen Ferry (along the dike, which might be open again, since there is no signage or barrier?) I saw a few of these guys hanging out in the brambles.

My first thought is Western Tanager given the red/orange head, yellow body and (maybe) black on the wings, but when looking through bins the wings looked more greenish than yellow/black.

Also, the second bird in the photo (the shy one looking away from the camera, haha) has a pretty distinct reddish patch on his back between the wings, which is not typical for Western Tanager to my knowledge.

Anyone have a better ID? Despite the miserable image?


By Pkorner
Thank you both for the inputs!

I had thought that house finches typically have reddish breasts that gradually fade out to more brownish colours on the rest of the body. The birds I saw were had bright yellow breasts and a much more red/orange head than the red/purple colour I've seen on the house finches that occasionally come to my feeder. Plus, the bodies were much more olive to yellow, not so much brown. While the image I posted is not great, the colours are pretty close to what I saw.

If you had to make a second guess, what would it be? I agree that it's the wrong time of year for Westerns, but these guys just looked to brightly coloured to be house finches...? Or am I being tricked into seeing more yellow somehow?
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