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I just saw my first Rose-breasted Grosbeak yesterday, so I don't have much experience with the species, but this bird is not a Rose-breasted Grosbeak in my opinion. After looking through 250+ photos on ebird, I still could not make this a Grosbeak. The black head contrasting with the brown back, the lack of any white wing bars on the wings, and the pinkish legs. 

However, I really don't known what this thing is anymore, the bill is to heavy for a Junco and does appear to match a Grosbeak's, so I could be wrong. Maybe some others who have more experience with this species can add more to this ID. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Aidan B said:

I just saw my first Rose-breasted Grosbeak yesterday, so I don't have much experience with the species, but this bird is not a Rose-breasted Grosbeak in my opinion. After looking through 250+ photos on ebird, I still could not make this a Grosbeak. The black head contrasting with the brown back, the lack of any white wing bars on the wings, and the pinkish legs. 

However, I really don't known what this thing is anymore, the bill is to heavy for a Junco and does appear to match a Grosbeak's, so I could be wrong. Maybe some others who have more experience with this species can add more to this ID. 

 

I've seen Rose-breasted Grosbeaks almost every year of my life since I've lived in New York. I'm not entirely certain, but since the size was described as large, not small like a juncos, the white bases of the primaries, making the wing patch when in flight, and large ivory bill make this a molting male Rose-breasted Grosbeak to me.

Edited by Quiscalus quiscula
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7 minutes ago, Quiscalus quiscula said:

In Pennsylvania in August??

DEJU in eastern PA this month. Admittedly not southeastern but it doesn't strike me as out of the realm of possibility.  The Harrisburg sighting is four birds.

 https://ebird.org/map/daejun?neg=true&env.minX=-79.99536588219482&env.minY=39.04458335223266&env.maxX=-73.63977506188232&env.maxY=42.714540427996454&zh=true&gp=true&ev=Z&mr=on&bmo=8&emo=8&yr=cur

image.png.65525fc86ec68e88a68516fa901c91c2.png

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1 minute ago, Charlie Spencer said:

DEJU in eastern PA this month. Admittedly not southeastern but it doesn't strike me as out of the realm of possibility.  The Harrisburg sighting is four birds.

 https://ebird.org/map/daejun?neg=true&env.minX=-79.99536588219482&env.minY=39.04458335223266&env.maxX=-73.63977506188232&env.maxY=42.714540427996454&zh=true&gp=true&ev=Z&mr=on&bmo=8&emo=8&yr=cur

image.png.65525fc86ec68e88a68516fa901c91c2.png

Yes, there is a possible, though not nearly as likely as a grosbeak.

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5 minutes ago, Quiscalus quiscula said:

Yes, there is a possible, though not nearly as likely as a grosbeak.

Look at the size.  AAB says DEJU are 5 to 6 inches.  With half of that being tail, the bulk of the bird's body centers nicely on that rail.    RBGR run 7 to 8 inches.  This bird is too small for that.  (I work for a company that makes railroad crossings; I just went out and measured a tie.)

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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Just now, Charlie Spencer said:

Look at the size.  AAB says DEJU are 5 to 6 inches.  With half of that being tail, the bird fits nicely on that rail.  RBGR run 7 to 8 inches.  This bird is too small for that.

Sure, it could be a junco, especially with the large feet, but the white on the wings still confuses me. I know some DEJUs can have white wingbars, but this white is in the wrong place.

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4 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Look at the size.  AAB says DEJU are 5 to 6 inches.  With half of that being tail, the bulk of the bird's body centers nicely on that rail.    RBGR run 7 to 8 inches.  This bird is too small for that.  (I work for a company that makes railroad crossings; I just went out and measured a tie.)

If that's the case then dirty House Sparrow fits better than DEJU based on the beak size.

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Is the bird's beak as large as it seems?

Look at the head feathers in the second photo.  They seem short to me; the head doesn't appear filled out.  There's a definite break between nape and shoulders that wouldn't be there for a fully feathered grosbeak, junco, or sparrow.

I think the bill looks larger than it is. I think this is similar to photos we've seen of Downy Woodpeckers, where short rictal bristles make the bill look larger like a Hairy's.  In this case, the shorter head feathers make the bill look grosbeak- or HOSP-sized.

Just my two cents worth, and you're definitely being overcharged.  I'm definitely not dying on this hill.

Edited by Charlie Spencer
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55 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Is the bird's beak as large as it seems?

Look at the head feathers in the second photo.  They seem short to me; the head doesn't appear filled out.  There's a definite break between nape and shoulders that wouldn't be there for a fully feathered grosbeak, junco, or sparrow.

I think the bill looks larger than it is. I think this is similar to photos we've seen of Downy Woodpeckers, where short rictal bristles make the bill look larger like a Hairy's.  In this case, the shorter head feathers make the bill look grosbeak- or HOSP-sized.

Just my two cents worth, and you're definitely being overcharged.  I'm definitely not dying on this hill.

I agree that the beak is bigger than it seems, and Dark-eyed Junco does seem the most reasonable, but for pure curiosity I'm asking about the white. What I don't get is this:

56 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Just my two cents worth, and you're definitely being overcharged.  I'm definitely not dying on this hill.

 

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25 minutes ago, Quiscalus quiscula said:

I agree that the beak is bigger than it seems, and Dark-eyed Junco does seem the most reasonable, but for pure curiosity I'm asking about the white. What I don't get is this:

 

I don’t think it actually has white primary bases. The bird is in heavy molt, which makes minor details like that inconsistent. 

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