[Tweeters] Rusty Blackbird and a VERY "EXOTIC" Trip to the Mouth of the Cedar - and ID HELP Requested

Hal Michael ucd880 at comcast.net
Wed Feb 4 16:28:23 PST 2015

That is probably a Society Finch. I believe that the Societies are entirely man-made species. They were created, i believe in China. It is now a "true" species in that the birds are pretty much reproductively isolated from other finches. There is single plumage/form but are quite variable. As I recall, they are often used as foster parents, incubating the eggs and rearing the young of species that don't incubate well in captivity.

For the Twitcher they create an interesting situation. A biological species that has not received formal taxonomic description since it is not "natural" but if it escapes and establishes a self-sustaoning population it should be "countable."

Hal Michael
Olympia WA
360-459-4005 (H)
360-791-7702 (C)
ucd880 at comcast.net

----- Original Message -----

Often when trying to find a bird the best thing to
do is to find a birder (or two) who has a camera,
scope or binoculars intensely on "something".
After almost an hour of looking for the Rusty
Blackbird at Crescent Lake WMA without success, I
saw two birders obviously looking at something.
Since it appeared that they were focusing on the
corn stalks in the middle of the NE field I
thought maybe it was some really good sparrow.
Turned out the two birders were Ollie and Grace
and they were viewing the Rusty Blackbird who was
happily consuming kernels of corn.

I had earlier located the Franklin's Gull in a
large flock of primarily Mew Gulls in a field on
Frohning Road. Emboldened by those finds, I
headed off yet again to the Mouth of the Cedar
hoping to see and photograph the Palm Warbler. I
had a good look and photo last year but in 2015 it
has been a single buried glance and no photo.
When I arrived the groundskeepers were clearing
pine needles from beneath the pine trees - in
exactly the area where I and others have seen the
bird. So not auspicious and indeed I never
spotted the bird ... BUT drawn by some unfamiliar
call notes, first in one of the Evergreens and
then 10 minutes later over by the Boeing Buildings
behind the fence, I found two quite exotic, very
surprising and assumedly escapee birds. The first
was a Zebra Finch which was mostly buried in the

I have not yet identified the second bird and
would welcome help from Tweeterdom.
One such find is perhaps understandable but twice
in one day at one place. Was there a convention
going on somewhere and they staged a mass escape.

I would have preferred a Palm Warbler...

Blair Bernson

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