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Thanks.  Now I can bedazzle the un-initiated with "fuscous" and
"retrices".  ;-)

Seriously, though, "fuscous" is NOT in the 1400+ page dictionary I have
here so I really didn't know what it meant.


Mike Grant

-----Original Message-----
From: Brad Jacobs [mailto:[log in to unmask]] 
Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 10:52 AM
To: Grant, Mike; [log in to unmask]
Subject: RE: Pine Siskin - Juveniles?

grayish or dark brown.  It is often used to describe colors on birds.
the patch of brown on the bill of a female mallard is described as
fuscous.  Dark brown or gray brown would be more understandable, I
agree.

brad

>>> "Grant, Mike" <[log in to unmask]> 05/12/08 10:44 AM >>>
Brad,

"streaked with fuscous" ?  What the heck is "fuscous"?

Mike Grant
Chesterfield, MO

-----Original Message-----
From: Missouri Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Brad Jacobs
Sent: Monday, May 12, 2008 10:36 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Pine Siskin - Juveniles?

Determining for sure that you have local hatchlings will need to be
documented. Just dull colored birds might not be enough. 

From Birds of N.A. Cornell online.
Distinguishing Characters of Pine Siskins

Small finch. Total length 11-14 cm; body mass 12-18 g, depending on
season. Bill slender and tail conspicuously notched. The following
italicized color designations are from Smithe (1975-1981). Contour
feathers heavily streaked with dusky brown to blackish on drab to brown
background on upperparts and on pale neutral gray to white on
underparts. Wings and tail dusky brown or blackish. Generally, 2 buff
wing-bars fading to white with time. Basal portions of remiges and all
but central rectrices pale spectrum yellow to sulphur yellow . Yellow
most evident in flight; otherwise often concealed. Sexes not reliably
identified by plumage characters or size, though greater amount and
brightness of yellow may distinguish approximately a third of males when
combined with information on age and wing length (Pyle et al. 1987).

Juveniles similar in general appearance to adults. Upperparts and
underparts streaked with fuscous . Usually more buffy or yellow on
upperparts than adults, with a tinge of olive brown, and more yellow on
underparts. Wing-bars buff .

Good Luck.

brad
>>> Brad Jacobs <[log in to unmask]> 05/12/08 10:07 AM >>>
In past years, after a good siskin year at feeders they often stay and
nest near the feeders.  So, this would be highly likely and should be
documented if possible. Maybe a photograph is possible.  Do you see any
begging or adults feeding the young or have a nest in a nearby conifer
tree.

brad

Brad Jacobs
PO Box 180
Jefferson City, MO  65102
(573) 751-4115  Ext.3648
[log in to unmask] 


>>> John Hitzeman <[log in to unmask]> 05/12/08 9:55 AM >>>
All,

Within the past five minutes, several Pine Siskins have returned to my
feeders, after a 10 - 12 day absence.

One is very small, relatively speaking, and the yellow wing bars are
very faint, almost non-existent from some angles, marginally visible at
others. I have taken photos.

Additionally, this individual's crown feathers are sticking up a bit.

Could it be a juvenile that was "born" in the area?

IIRC, it's kind of late for that, isn't it?

Thanks, again ---

John Hitzeman
Troy, MO

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