We had a newly identified bird at the feeder yesterday — a female Cassin’s Finch.
The reason I say “newly identified bird” is because all these female finches look a lot alike, and when they are flitting about in a flock at the feeder, it’s hard to realize that I’ve got more than my average House Finch out there. We might have had dozens of Cassin’s visiting for years, and I just didn’t realize it.
What drew my eye to this female was that her chest streaks were much darker and more distinct than those around her. When I looked at her through the camera lens, I spotted the white streak over her eye, and the yellow smudge along her cheek. The bird identification people don’t mention it, but it really stuck out for me.
According to Birds of the World, Cassin’s Finches are found in the Mountain West of the US and Mexico, and a little ways into Canada. They come down to feeders in the winter. She is welcome to all she wants at ours.