Although it's always a little risky attempting to give an ID on a concisely
described bird, it seems to us that your description most closely fits an
albinistic American Goldfinch. The yellow of a goldfinch comes from its
food, and the black from melanin. Albinistic birds usually lack melanin and
retain color acquired from their food. The bird likely appears larger than
its fellow goldfinches because of the optical effect caused by its lack of a
black "outline" in its wings and tail. Pale birds look bigger than darker
ones of the same size. The clues that point to goldfinch for us are the
orange legs, and the solid white wings and tail - just where a goldfinch
would normally be black, if it's a male it will have a white "forehead" too.
We have seen other albinistic finches including siskin, and Evening Grosbeak
in life, and pictures of redpolls.
Walter Ellison & Nancy Martin
23460 Clarissa Road
Chestertown, MD 21620
e-mail: [log in to unmask]
"A person who is looking for something doesn't travel very fast" - E. B.
White (in "Stuart Little")
----- Original Message -----
From: "Karan Cutler" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, May 07, 2004 8:52 AM
Subject: [VTBIRD] yellow escapee?
> For the last five days I've had a pale yellow bird with all-white wings
> tail at my feeder. Slightly larger than a goldfinch, pale orange legs,
> eye, and a finchlike beak. Any ideas?
> Karan in Essex town