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Marshall B

Help to identify unusual bird in Vancouver area

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Hi all,

Today I saw an unusual bird I have never seen in the area.  I would appreciate your thoughts on what it could be.  Here is my description:

Location and conditions

-Suburban area outside Vancouver, BC, Canada

-Bird spotted in a Holly tree around 11am

-Temperatures well below freezing (-11C)


-Like a robin, but fatter, almost like a pregnant robin.

-Not as large as a crow, but much bigger than finches and starlings


-Brown head and wings

-Yellow-orange stripe on head (like the Siberian Accentor)

-Yellow-orange throat and belly (like the Black-headed Grosbeak)

-Distinctive horizontal stripe of brown across the chest

-Possible orange speckles on the wings


-Hopping from branch to branch in a Holly tree

-Eating some berries from the Holly tree


I have lived here for almost 30 years and never seen a bird like this.  I was unable to find candidates from photos online, but I would recognize it if I saw a photo of one.  I will update this post with a photo if I can spot it again and snap a picture.


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I don't think you can do much better than this for a first post without a photo (other than -11C in Vancouver??).

The links for colour characteristics are interesting.

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Hi Akandula,

That looks just like it!  Seems to have been a male. 

Such a beautiful bird.  Wish I had a chance to get a picture.  I hope to see more this Winter. 

Thank you very much!

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27 minutes ago, Tony Leukering said:

Did you mean "hardy?" 😉

Huh. Guess I did! Didn't know there was a difference until just now. 

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