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Heart ForNature

Danville, KY, USA


I’ve been searching far and wide for days now trying to figure out what this bird is. It’s yellow, with grayish patches on the tips of its wings, a little bigger than a sparrow, has a beak like a Cardinal, and is a frequent visitor at my feeder. (It’s been eating seeds.) Is it a female Summer Tanager?



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PLEASE HELP! What Is This Bird?

7 responses to “PLEASE HELP! What is this bird?”

  1. Holly Faulkner, Project Assistant says:

    This is a tough one. If you were in range, I’d say it’s a female Painted Bunting, and though they eat seeds and there have been scattered reports over the years, the rarity of seeing one in Kentucky makes me hesitant to ID it as such. However, when I tested your photo in Merlin, it also returned “Painted Bunting.” While it does resemble a female tanager and both Scarlet and Summer are common in your area, it seems a bit too small for them and neither species typically eats seeds. If it’s still around, try looking at its beak- the beaks of tanagers are quite different from buntings, and can be a great clue towards identification.

  2. Micah Grove says:

    I can’t tell what bird it is but I don’t think it is a tanager, and it does not look much like a bunting.

  3. HeartForNature says:

    Thank you. I thought it was too small to be a summer tanager, but I tried Merlin Bird ID and that was the closest match so I was completely bewildered.

  4. HeartForNature says:

    Okay. It is DEFINITELY a female Painted Bunting. 3 reasons:
    1. It doesn’t have black wing markings so it can’t be an American Goldfinch.
    2. It is too small to be a female Summer Tanager and it doesn’t have a long enough beak.
    3. It has a beak like a Painted Bunting and it also has that greenish tint and light brownish-yellow underbelly.
    It’s so cool that I got a really rare bird at my feeder! I’m so excited! I hope I get a male…. they’re really pretty. I’ve got to add another bird to my Feeder Birds of Kentucky list!!!

  5. Micah Grove says:

    Can you please get better photos (if possible) so I can confirm. Honestly I don’t think that’s enough evidence to confirm this sighting.

  6. Micah Grove says:

    Also if you don’t have eBird… you should get it.

  7. HeartForNature says:

    Sorry, Micah. We went to the lake for a week and I guess it didn’t like Bark Butter (a sort of suet I put out because I was out of seeds) ‘cause I haven’t seen it since.

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