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Re: European goldfinches

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  • Les Chibana
    There was a bit more about this goldfinch on the Frontiers of Bird ID list. There was a question about the particular subspecies. Here s the message that was
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 4, 2001
      There was a bit more about this goldfinch on the Frontiers of Bird ID list.
      There was a question about the particular subspecies. Here's the message
      that was forwarded to that list. Unfortunately, there was no e-mail address
      provided for Brian Sullivan.

      Les Chibana, Palo Alto, CA


      Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2001 14:12:43 EDT
      From: Tony Leukering
      Subject: RFI: EuroGoldfinch

      Hi all:

      Brian Sullivan (on San Clemente Island, CA) asked me to forward this to
      ID-Frontiers. Please respond to the list or to Brian privately.


      Tony Leukering
      Brighton, CO

      On 1 August, 2001 a male European Goldfinch was found by John T. Brollini
      feeding with a flock of migrant Lesser Goldfinches in the weedy vegetaion
      below Stone Station, one of the better migrant traps on San Clemente Island,
      CA. The bird was observed by many, and photographed extensively by Brollini
      throughout the course of the day. Initially, the bird was thought to be an
      escaped caged bird, but further study, upon consulting a few authorities and
      looking at the photos, revealed the following interesting features.

      The European Goldfinch commonly depicted in North American field guides is
      the nominate subspecies Carduelis carduelis carduelis. After close
      inspection of the photos, it is glaringly obvious that our bird is the
      subspecies C. c. paropanisi. The bird is clearly gray-headed and possesses
      an enormous bill, unlike anything I've seen in North American guides. This
      subspecies is migratory and, according to Sparrows and Finches (Clement et
      al.), winters south to Iran.

      We know the bird was not released on SCI and must have come and gone with a
      flock of migrant finches. Does anyone know of any North American records for
      this subspecies? Are there many subspecies of European Goldfinch commonly
      kept in the US as cage birds? Is there any way this finch with distribution
      in Central Asia could make it to the US west coast under its own power? Any
      comments would be greatly appreciated. We do not have access to a scanner
      here on SCI, but can possibly provide scans on a later date to those


      Brian Sullivan
      Institute for Wildlife Studies
      San Clemente Island, CA


      On Sunday, September 2, 2001 5:48 PM, walter wehtje <wehtje@...> wrote:
      >Regarding Goldfinches. I've seen one European Goldfinch on the Oxnard Plain
      >(December 1992) and about five for sale at the Oxnard Petco. It would take
      >a lot to convince me any European Goldfinch found in Southern California is
      >a true vagrant. I've seen Ringed Turtledove (October 1998), a definite
      >escapee, on San Nicolas Island, and an unidentified Aratinga Parrot (May
      >1993) on Santa Barbara Island. Both Islands are as far offshore as San
      >Clemente, and are obviously within range of geographically
      >challenged escapees.
      >Walter Wehtje
      >Camarillo, CA
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