[Tweeters] mystified by yard bird; suggestions?

Josh Hayes coralliophila at live.com
Sun Oct 11 14:50:47 PDT 2015

Hi all,
Sadly I do not have a picture of this bird, but I think I can describe it pretty well. It's been hanging out at our spherical sunflower seed feeders, is clearly a finch based on bill shape, but for all the world looks like a house-finch-sized chickadee, with the black cap, white face and neck, and then black again on the upper breast, before the breast itself which is clearly streaked with no central spot.
In short, it's a sparrow-like bird with a white collar all the way around and a streaked breast. Nondescript otherwise: brown back, bill is light-colored gray/off-white. I have been assuming it's some typical yard visitor with a bizarre molt pattern, but I just don't know. FWIW, we get house finches, white- and golden-crowned sparrows, and song sparrows, along with juncos, both common lowland chickadees, nuthatches, and creepers. Three big evergreens, a large filbert, and some volunteer 10-15 foot cherry trees. Am I missing some obvious candidate here?
Any suggestions cheerfully entertained!
-Josh Hayes in Licton Springs (N. Seattle)

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