What bird is this?

We printed this photo of a “mystery bird” at Bay Village feeder in the June 16 issue of the Observer and asked for readers’ help in identifying it. The myriad responses that came in only heightened the mystery – it’s an immature rose-breasted grosbeak! It’s a purple finch! It’s a juvenile red-winged blackbird! It’s a female grosbeak! We turned to our local gem, the Lake Erie Nature & Science Center, for a definitive answer.

“This is an adult female red-winged blackbird,” wrote Tim Jasinski, wildlife rehabilitation specialist at the Center. “Sometimes older females will show deeper colors than normal or more male-like colors resulting from increased testosterone later in life. It could also sometimes just be the photograph, the lighting or other factors but this is definitely a red-winged blackbird!”

Out of the many responses from our amateur bird-watching readers, only one – Chuck Collings – matched the expert in correctly identifying the bird.

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Volume 12, Issue 13, Posted 10:38 AM, 07.07.2020