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Birding/Unidentified Warbler


Seen today in Southern Ontario feeding voraciously on tall, dried out seed-bearing plant along a walking trail. Dull fawn/buff-coloured body, paler chest and underside but not actually white, appeared to have dark pattern around eyes otherwise constant colouration on head. Wings and tail startlingly black and white barred, one of the two birds with yellower wing bars and also browner upper surface of body (sexual distinctions?). No red/pink/orange seen on either bird. No yellow on the body. Presumably on their migration. Any ideas? I do have a bird book (Petersen Guide) but can't get all the features to come together into what I saw from the possibilities as pictured in the book.
Thanks - sorry no pic.

Most likely what you saw was an American Goldfinch. The clues are that the birds varied in plumage as do winter and immature goldfinches, the black and white wing bars, and the fact that they were feeding on a dried out seed plant. Warblers rarely eat seeds. Take a look at you book and see if that is what you saw.


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Roger Lederer


Any and all about WILD birds - the science of ornithology. Information about birdwatching, ecology, conservation, migration, behavior, banding, rehabilitation, feeding, songs, binoculars, identification, and careers in ornithology. No questions about pet or caged birds, please.


Have a PhD and over forty years as a professional ornithologist - research, teaching, author, speaker, webmaster of . Have written thirty scientific papers, three bird field guides, a textbook in ecology four other bird books, the latest being "Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs". Have traveled to 100 countries watching birds and have spoken to hundreds of groups about birds.

PhD in Zoology/Ornithology; Emeritus Professor of Biological Sciences; former Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at California State University, Chico

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