A rarity? Not likely. More like an escapee

Photo by Chris Bosak An escaped Saffron Finch (?) seen in Brookfield, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
An escaped Saffron Finch (?) in Brookfield, Conn,. April 2016.

I thought I had a great bird for the rare bird alert list, but it’s likely just an escaped pet bird. A bright yellow bird flew into a nearby tree as I was practicing baseball with my 9-year-old Will.

I thought it was a Yellow Warbler at first, but rushed for my binoculars for a better view. Yellow Warblers don’t have red heads! I thought it was one of the tanagers, but after consulting with an expert, it is likely a Saffron Finch. These colorful birds are native to South America and are often kept as caged pet birds. That’s likely the case here. Instead of a rarity, I got an escapee.

Thanks Frank for the ID.

Do other experts out there concur?

Photo by Chris Bosak An escaped Saffron Finch (?) seen in Brookfield, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
An escaped Saffron Finch (?) in Brookfield, Conn,. April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak An escaped Saffron Finch (?) seen in Brookfield, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
An escaped Saffron Finch (?) seen in Brookfield, Conn., April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak An escaped Saffron Finch (?) in Brookfield, Conn,. April 2016.

Photo by Chris Bosak
An escaped Saffron Finch (?) in Brookfield, Conn,. April 2016.

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5 thoughts on “A rarity? Not likely. More like an escapee

    • Good question, Ed. If they are going to escape in New England, spring/summer is the time to do it. They can find plenty of food out there. For the winter … it depends on the climate of their origin. Monk Parakeets escaped in NYC years ago and established a wild population along the New England coast. They are native to a temperate area of South America. Overall, though, most escapees — unless they are found and somehow captured by their owners — likely won’t last long in the wild.

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  1. Chris, I doubt very much if this bird is a saffron finch. It is the correct general coloration, but the orange on the male saffron’s head is confined to the forehead. It does not go up onto the crown, neither does it extend down onto the throat and upper breast (as it does in your bird). Seems more likely to me that this is an escaped african weaver finch, most likely yellow weaver or golden palm weaver.

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  2. I’m reminded of the time my brother and I left open a window, leading to the inadvertent escape of my grandmother’s blue parakeet . . . which we actually got back two week later, from a house about four miles away!

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