Carpodacus finch at LLC

Hugh Ranson

I briefly saw an interesting carpodacus finch at Lake Los Carneros this
afternoon. It was feeding on Toyon berries at the SE corner, near the porta
potty. I had just come from observing several female Purple Finches at the
other end of the lake. When I saw this bird I was struck by the whitish
background color of the underparts with relatively crisp streaking. The bird
quickly disappeared but it came into view (for the photos) when I played
Cassin's Finch calls. It then buried itself in a Toyon and I couldn't refind

My brother in British Columbia, who regularly has Cassin's and Purple coming to
his feeder, thinks it's a Purple, whereas a couple of local birders lean
towards Cassin's. I'm not sure what to think. One feature that is better for
Cassin's (though a few Purple can show this) is the streaked undertail coverts.
The lack of an eyering is better for Purple. To me the bill looks better for
Cassin's, though the angle might be deceptive.

The bird did not call.

If you're at LLC, please look out for this bird.

The hybrid swan is still present, and three Barn Swallows flew over.


Hugh Ranson
Santa Barbara

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