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Here are a couple other possibilities, both of which could be around this
time of year:

- Yellow-rumped Warbler - in the fall, are generally gray in appearance;
males have a yellow patch on the head as well as the upper flank near the
shoulders. The yellow isn't actually in upper surface of the wing, but
viewed from the front it can appear a lot like a yellow version of the
patch on a Red-winged Blackbird. This was my immediate thought when I saw
your description.

- Pine Siskin - has a true yellow patch in the wing, though not really like
a Red-wing's patch. It also would be a stretch to say it has yellow in the
head but it does have streaked brownish-gray plumage. Much more pointed
bill than typical finches.

  Scott Schwenk, South Burlington

On Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 8:06 AM, Thomas Berriman
<[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> One of the only birds that is Gray with yellow on its head is the female
> adult
> Pine Grosbeak. As to the yellow patches on the wing I have no clue. A junco
> is 6.25", a Pine Grosbeak is 9". Similar to the Pine Grosbeak is the
> juvenile
> or female Evening Grosbeak at 8".(gray with some yellow). The fact that
> they
> were there all day suggests one of these as opposed to a late migrating
> warbler. Also just take a look at both waxwing species in sibleys.
> Tom berriman
>
> Subject: Help with id
> From: Linda Lunna <lindalunna AT HOTMAIL.COM>
> Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2011 17:52:07 -0400
>
> Music Mountain  Stockbridge, VT
>
> Today--all day-- two birds were flitting around in the white birch in the
> yard.  They were gray  with a yellow patch on their wings  ( similar to the
> red patch on a Red-winged Blackbird) and some more yellow on top of the
> head.  One was puffed up--and kept fluffing up its feathers--size about
> like
> a junco and round in a similar way.  Any ideas would be appreciated.  The
> underside of the tail was black and white.
>