Help with a Lake Luzurne bird


John Loz
 

Hello HMBirds Friends!

Our Southern Adirondack Audubon info email account received an inquiry for bird I'd help from a gentleman in Lake Luzurne. He was not able to get a picture of it, but described in detail as seen below. Any help or suggestions you have would be appreciated! Tough to ID from below, I know, but figure I try.
Thanks everyone!
John Loz
president@...

"saw a visually striking small bird I have been unable to identify.  I have tried multiple bird guides and Merlin Online without being able to identify this bird.  I'm no expert, but I'm not new to birdwatching, either. 
I saw a bird with a striking white head on Friday, April 2 in Lake Luzerne, NY.

It was amid a flock of Juncos feeding on the ground near our feeder, hopping and picking up black oil sunflower seed off our lawn.  Unfortunately, I did not have long to observe it, nor did I get a picture.
Its head and neck were a striking white.  It was the same size as a Junco, but with a more erect stance, similar to a sparrow or a finch.
I noticed a narrow gray band on the back of its neck and on its throat, although they did not meet.  Its neck was white down to the shoulders.  There may have been one of two other quite small gray markings on its head.
Its breast was similar in color to the lighter underparts of a Junco.  Its back and wings were blue-gray and heavily streaked.
Its tail was medium long, solid blue-gray, slightly notched and had two very clear white streaks on its outer edges or outer tail feathers.
It hopped out of view and I did not see it fly.  
This was the last day we had a large number of Juncos.  Our area is mostly forested with some open spaces.  
Either this was a very unusual individual of a not unusual species, or a species far from its usual range.
If you can ID this bird, I would be very interested."


ConserveBirds
 

My guess would be a partially leucistic Dark-eyed junco. That tail coloration is pretty diagnostic, and if it was hanging with juncos and acting like a junco, then maybe it is. Not to rule out other possibilities though, anyone else have a guess?


On Fri, Apr 9, 2021, 2:54 PM John Loz via groups.io <stellersjayjohn=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hello HMBirds Friends!

Our Southern Adirondack Audubon info email account received an inquiry for bird I'd help from a gentleman in Lake Luzurne. He was not able to get a picture of it, but described in detail as seen below. Any help or suggestions you have would be appreciated! Tough to ID from below, I know, but figure I try.
Thanks everyone!
John Loz

"saw a visually striking small bird I have been unable to identify.  I have tried multiple bird guides and Merlin Online without being able to identify this bird.  I'm no expert, but I'm not new to birdwatching, either. 
I saw a bird with a striking white head on Friday, April 2 in Lake Luzerne, NY.

It was amid a flock of Juncos feeding on the ground near our feeder, hopping and picking up black oil sunflower seed off our lawn.  Unfortunately, I did not have long to observe it, nor did I get a picture.
Its head and neck were a striking white.  It was the same size as a Junco, but with a more erect stance, similar to a sparrow or a finch.
I noticed a narrow gray band on the back of its neck and on its throat, although they did not meet.  Its neck was white down to the shoulders.  There may have been one of two other quite small gray markings on its head.
Its breast was similar in color to the lighter underparts of a Junco.  Its back and wings were blue-gray and heavily streaked.
Its tail was medium long, solid blue-gray, slightly notched and had two very clear white streaks on its outer edges or outer tail feathers.
It hopped out of view and I did not see it fly.  
This was the last day we had a large number of Juncos.  Our area is mostly forested with some open spaces.  
Either this was a very unusual individual of a not unusual species, or a species far from its usual range.
If you can ID this bird, I would be very interested."


Lindsey Duval <lindsey.duval@...>
 

Sounds like maybe a Junco with a plumage issue to me, maybe piebaldism or a neutral Crest disorder so it ended up with a bunch of white. Its more upright stance could then be because it is more likely to be seen and eaten by a predator. His description sounds right on for a Junco otherwise including the blotchy gray in the white and those outer tail feathers. 


On Fri, Apr 9, 2021, 2:54 PM John Loz via groups.io <stellersjayjohn=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hello HMBirds Friends!

Our Southern Adirondack Audubon info email account received an inquiry for bird I'd help from a gentleman in Lake Luzurne. He was not able to get a picture of it, but described in detail as seen below. Any help or suggestions you have would be appreciated! Tough to ID from below, I know, but figure I try.
Thanks everyone!
John Loz

"saw a visually striking small bird I have been unable to identify.  I have tried multiple bird guides and Merlin Online without being able to identify this bird.  I'm no expert, but I'm not new to birdwatching, either. 
I saw a bird with a striking white head on Friday, April 2 in Lake Luzerne, NY.

It was amid a flock of Juncos feeding on the ground near our feeder, hopping and picking up black oil sunflower seed off our lawn.  Unfortunately, I did not have long to observe it, nor did I get a picture.
Its head and neck were a striking white.  It was the same size as a Junco, but with a more erect stance, similar to a sparrow or a finch.
I noticed a narrow gray band on the back of its neck and on its throat, although they did not meet.  Its neck was white down to the shoulders.  There may have been one of two other quite small gray markings on its head.
Its breast was similar in color to the lighter underparts of a Junco.  Its back and wings were blue-gray and heavily streaked.
Its tail was medium long, solid blue-gray, slightly notched and had two very clear white streaks on its outer edges or outer tail feathers.
It hopped out of view and I did not see it fly.  
This was the last day we had a large number of Juncos.  Our area is mostly forested with some open spaces.  
Either this was a very unusual individual of a not unusual species, or a species far from its usual range.
If you can ID this bird, I would be very interested."


scottjstoner
 

I concur with Lindsey; sounds like an oddly plumaged Junco. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Lindsey Duval <lindsey.duval@...>
To: stellersjayjohn@...
Cc: HMBirds <hmbirds@groups.io>
Sent: Fri, Apr 9, 2021 3:14 pm
Subject: Re: [hmbirds] Help with a Lake Luzurne bird

Sounds like maybe a Junco with a plumage issue to me, maybe piebaldism or a neutral Crest disorder so it ended up with a bunch of white. Its more upright stance could then be because it is more likely to be seen and eaten by a predator. His description sounds right on for a Junco otherwise including the blotchy gray in the white and those outer tail feathers. 

On Fri, Apr 9, 2021, 2:54 PM John Loz via groups.io <stellersjayjohn=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hello HMBirds Friends!

Our Southern Adirondack Audubon info email account received an inquiry for bird I'd help from a gentleman in Lake Luzurne. He was not able to get a picture of it, but described in detail as seen below. Any help or suggestions you have would be appreciated! Tough to ID from below, I know, but figure I try.
Thanks everyone!
John Loz

"saw a visually striking small bird I have been unable to identify.  I have tried multiple bird guides and Merlin Online without being able to identify this bird.  I'm no expert, but I'm not new to birdwatching, either. 
I saw a bird with a striking white head on Friday, April 2 in Lake Luzerne, NY.

It was amid a flock of Juncos feeding on the ground near our feeder, hopping and picking up black oil sunflower seed off our lawn.  Unfortunately, I did not have long to observe it, nor did I get a picture.
Its head and neck were a striking white.  It was the same size as a Junco, but with a more erect stance, similar to a sparrow or a finch.
I noticed a narrow gray band on the back of its neck and on its throat, although they did not meet.  Its neck was white down to the shoulders.  There may have been one of two other quite small gray markings on its head.
Its breast was similar in color to the lighter underparts of a Junco.  Its back and wings were blue-gray and heavily streaked.
Its tail was medium long, solid blue-gray, slightly notched and had two very clear white streaks on its outer edges or outer tail feathers.
It hopped out of view and I did not see it fly.  
This was the last day we had a large number of Juncos.  Our area is mostly forested with some open spaces.  
Either this was a very unusual individual of a not unusual species, or a species far from its usual range.
If you can ID this bird, I would be very interested."


birderlarry
 

It sounds like a leucistic Junco, meaning having lots of white in places that normally would have typical species coloration. It’s different from albinism, where the entire bird is white and the eyes are usually pink. 
Stay safe!
Larry Federman


On Apr 9, 2021, at 3:54 PM, scottjstoner via groups.io <ScottJStoner@...> wrote:


I concur with Lindsey; sounds like an oddly plumaged Junco. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Lindsey Duval <lindsey.duval@...>
To: stellersjayjohn@...
Cc: HMBirds <hmbirds@groups.io>
Sent: Fri, Apr 9, 2021 3:14 pm
Subject: Re: [hmbirds] Help with a Lake Luzurne bird

Sounds like maybe a Junco with a plumage issue to me, maybe piebaldism or a neutral Crest disorder so it ended up with a bunch of white. Its more upright stance could then be because it is more likely to be seen and eaten by a predator. His description sounds right on for a Junco otherwise including the blotchy gray in the white and those outer tail feathers. 

On Fri, Apr 9, 2021, 2:54 PM John Loz via groups.io <stellersjayjohn=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hello HMBirds Friends!

Our Southern Adirondack Audubon info email account received an inquiry for bird I'd help from a gentleman in Lake Luzurne. He was not able to get a picture of it, but described in detail as seen below. Any help or suggestions you have would be appreciated! Tough to ID from below, I know, but figure I try.
Thanks everyone!
John Loz

"saw a visually striking small bird I have been unable to identify.  I have tried multiple bird guides and Merlin Online without being able to identify this bird.  I'm no expert, but I'm not new to birdwatching, either. 
I saw a bird with a striking white head on Friday, April 2 in Lake Luzerne, NY.

It was amid a flock of Juncos feeding on the ground near our feeder, hopping and picking up black oil sunflower seed off our lawn.  Unfortunately, I did not have long to observe it, nor did I get a picture.
Its head and neck were a striking white.  It was the same size as a Junco, but with a more erect stance, similar to a sparrow or a finch.
I noticed a narrow gray band on the back of its neck and on its throat, although they did not meet.  Its neck was white down to the shoulders.  There may have been one of two other quite small gray markings on its head.
Its breast was similar in color to the lighter underparts of a Junco.  Its back and wings were blue-gray and heavily streaked.
Its tail was medium long, solid blue-gray, slightly notched and had two very clear white streaks on its outer edges or outer tail feathers.
It hopped out of view and I did not see it fly.  
This was the last day we had a large number of Juncos.  Our area is mostly forested with some open spaces.  
Either this was a very unusual individual of a not unusual species, or a species far from its usual range.
If you can ID this bird, I would be very interested."


Alan Mapes
 

Hi John - this sounds like a junco with a condition called “leucism”. Here is a link to an explanation on Audubon’s website: 

Cheers, Alan


On Fri, Apr 9, 2021 at 2:54 PM John Loz via groups.io <stellersjayjohn=yahoo.com@groups.io> wrote:
Hello HMBirds Friends!

Our Southern Adirondack Audubon info email account received an inquiry for bird I'd help from a gentleman in Lake Luzurne. He was not able to get a picture of it, but described in detail as seen below. Any help or suggestions you have would be appreciated! Tough to ID from below, I know, but figure I try.
Thanks everyone!
John Loz

"saw a visually striking small bird I have been unable to identify.  I have tried multiple bird guides and Merlin Online without being able to identify this bird.  I'm no expert, but I'm not new to birdwatching, either. 
I saw a bird with a striking white head on Friday, April 2 in Lake Luzerne, NY.

It was amid a flock of Juncos feeding on the ground near our feeder, hopping and picking up black oil sunflower seed off our lawn.  Unfortunately, I did not have long to observe it, nor did I get a picture.
Its head and neck were a striking white.  It was the same size as a Junco, but with a more erect stance, similar to a sparrow or a finch.
I noticed a narrow gray band on the back of its neck and on its throat, although they did not meet.  Its neck was white down to the shoulders.  There may have been one of two other quite small gray markings on its head.
Its breast was similar in color to the lighter underparts of a Junco.  Its back and wings were blue-gray and heavily streaked.
Its tail was medium long, solid blue-gray, slightly notched and had two very clear white streaks on its outer edges or outer tail feathers.
It hopped out of view and I did not see it fly.  
This was the last day we had a large number of Juncos.  Our area is mostly forested with some open spaces.  
Either this was a very unusual individual of a not unusual species, or a species far from its usual range.
If you can ID this bird, I would be very interested."