I'm having trouble identifying a bird that visited my backyard feeder
for quite a while this afternoon (even though I have Audubon's
Western Birds handbook, the Peterson Field Guide and The Sibley
Guide). Here is what I observed:
The bird was about the size of, or maybe slightly larger than, a
finch and was ground feeding right along with a handful of them; he
had a deep black head (forehead, crown, chin, extending down into the
throat area) the body (nape, breast, flank, back and possibly part of
its belly) was a bright orange/red; the mantle was rust color while
the wings were streaked black/gray. I noted too, underneath him
(possibly the belly or more likely lower portion of the wings) a more
defined black & white.
He was busy but not overly nervous; very-finch like in behavior.
The closest look-alike in Sibleys is on page 537, the Orange Bishop,
but isn't very close really. The body type is off somewhat, as is
the overall coloring other than the orange/red and hood. But it
gives a basic idea of what I saw.
Northern San Clemente