Posted by: atowhee | August 24, 2021


Since posting this I have heard from other birders about such sightings. One Eugene birder has seen similar birds there on two widely seperate occasions. At the bottom of this blog is photo of bird found by Janet Kelly and Vince Zauskey at Emigrant Lake near Ashland in 2019. Janet’s photo.

We get a male Lesser Goldfinch at our feeders who is unusually dark. His back and wings have more black than our local birds usually show.

Here’s close-up of his back I shot today(above pics are ten days old):

He looks like he was designed to be released east of the Rockies. Only his neck and upper back are the stanard dark green of our usual LGs. I would like to hear if other Willamette Valley birders have seen such dark individuals here.

In this image is a male with usual green back:

Here’s Sibley’s take on the matter:

From David Sibley’s Guide to the Birds

And here’s a standard-issue female. The standard look, plus sunflower seeds, a goldfinch staple ’round here.


  1. Wow – I’ve seen the black-backed race in TEXAS but never here in the valley.

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