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Photographed this bird around my feeder in Southern Cal, near San Diego.  Can't find a match using iBird Ultimate.

Seems to be a finch and was in the company of a lot of House finches, purple finches, and gold finches.


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1 hour ago, HamRHead said:

I would guess it's an escapee or a released pet. I'm not sure what kind. Maybe a Society Finch.


1 hour ago, Bird Brain said:

Maybe a young Nutmeg Mannikin molting into adult plumage?

I forgot to mention that the bird is smaller than the other finches, probably about half as tall. 

We have several scaly-breasted munias (aka nutmeg mannikin) in our yard, so maybe this is a young one.

Thanks for the help HamRHead and Bird Brain. 

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Agree with above. Saw my first scaly-breasted munia (also called spice finch) just a few weeks ago in Pismo beach Oceana campground area. I also think your picture may be an immature as the adult male, as you likely know, is quite vivid red with scale all along the breast. A photo of the bird with the male that I saw,  one that I assumed was an immature or female, is included although not a great photo and has coloring more like your photo.

Scaly-breasted munia immature?.JPG

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From Wikipedia:


The scaly-breasted munia or spotted munia, known in the pet trade as nutmeg mannikin or spice finch, is a sparrow-sized estrildid finch native to tropical Asia. A species of the genus Lonchura, it was formally described and named by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. Wikipedia
Scientific name: Lonchura punctulata
Conservation status: Least Concern (Population stable) Encyclopedia of Life
Rank: Species
This is surely a young scaly-breasted munia.  As I noted in my reply above it is a small bird which is consistent with an immature bird.  Also there are several adults scaly-breasted munias that frequent the feeders and ground below.  These birds are not indigenous and are the result of the pet trade and birds that escaped or were released by owners. 
The reason the ID did not come up in iBird is that I had done a search on finches.
Thanks for all the replies and the help with the ID.
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