Utah Birds
Photo Quiz Answer

      Quiz # 012  (May 2011)




Sorry again I am late this month – it is a busy time of year for me.

This month we have another one of those birds that refuses to let us see its head. If we could see the face I am sure that you would have all got it correct, but we can’t so we have use what we can see. Overall the bird appears grayish, with black and white in the wings and tail. Other than that it has a yellowish collar around the back of the head. We don’t have too many yellow birds in Utah, especially yellow birds with black and white wings. I think there are only 3 possibilities: Evening Grosbeak, Lesser Goldfinch, and American Goldfinch.

The American Goldfinch has distinct wing bars. The quiz bird doesn’t have any wingbars, but instead has a big white patch at the base of the primary feathers. Lesser Goldfinches have a nice wing patch, but they would have an all greenish back and neck, not a contrasting collar. Female Evening Grosbeaks, like our quiz bird do.

If you look at the Evening Grosbeak female in Sibley’s, it shows the breeding female having a lot more white in the wing, but the National Geographic guide seems more accurate. Even better, check out the variety of female Evening Grosbeak photos on the utahbirds website and compare them with the goldfinch photos [American, lesser], . There is a picture by Eric Peterson of 2 female grosbeaks on a feeder that look exactly like the photo quiz bird, except you can see their bills of course.

There was 1 answer for Black-headed Grosbeak. The wing pattern is very similar to this bird, but the rest of the bird doesn’t match up. A male would have an obviously orange collar and rump. A female would be browner (including wings) and have a streaked back.


Correct Answers (in order received):
  1. Weston Smith
  2. Craig Fosdick
  3. Cliff Weisse
  4. Bryant Olsen
  5. Stephen Peterson
  6. Ryan O’Donnell
  7. Eric Huish
  8. Dennis Shirley
  9. Jeffery Saffle
10. Steve Carr
11. KC Childs
12. Jeff Cooper
13. Tuula Rose
14. Leah Lewis
15. Stephanie Greenwood

Incorrect Answers:
   • Black-headed Grosbeak - 1
   • Lesser Goldfinch - 1
   • American Goldfinch - 1