Saturday, 24 January 2009

A Greenfinch Variant

FoCM Treasurer, John Agar recently spotted an unusual bird on his garden bird feeder and wrote the following account of it:

Several weeks ago I noticed what appeared to be an all yellow bird among a mixed flock of Finches feeding on Niger seed sited in my garden. Unable to make an identification, I moved the feeder nearer to the house and was able to take the following pictures. The quality is not very good (photography not being my forte) but good enough to identify the bird as a Greenfinch. I hesitate to call it a mutant as apart from the colour it appeared to be identical to the other Greenfinches as can be observed from the photograph. I have to confess my memory seems to have let me down, there is a technical term to describe the variation of colour in species but for the life of me I cannot remember it*. If anyone can come to my rescue please do so.

Again if you disagree with my identification please let me know. I have both Goldfinch and Chaffinch visit the garden regularly along with several other species.

John Agar, January 2009

* I think that the term is 'leucism'. For more information see http://www.wildlifeextra.com/go/news/leucism.html - ed.

1 comment:

paul w said...

I too had a yellow bird regular visiting feeders in my garden in Chorlton all last winter. It was the shape and size of a Greenfinch and although me and my granddaughters always just called it 'the yellow bird' we are sure that is what it was. I haven't seen it since the Spring. I wonder if it will beback as the Autumn draws on?