Family: Fringillidae, Finches view all from this family
Description ADULT BREEDING MALE Has a black face, throat, and forecrown, pale gray cheeks, and gray nape and back. Blackish wings have two broad, yellow wing bars and yellow edges to flight feathers. Center of breast and belly are yellow, but underparts are otherwise gray. In flight, yellowish rump contrasts with dark tail. ADULT NONBREEDING MALE Similar, but gray elements of upperparts are olive-brown. ADULT BREEDING FEMALE Recalls adult breeding male, but is much paler overall, without black on face and only hint of yellow in plumage. ADULT NONBREEDING FEMALE Recalls breeding female, but upperparts are browner. JUVENILE Recalls nonbreeding female, but is streaked.
Dimensions Length: 4-4 1/2" (10-11 cm)
Habitat Favors dry, weedy areas, woodland edges and sometimes gardens. Local, but precise occurrence is unpredictable: mostly resident, sometimes present locally in good numbers, but nomadic or migratory in winter.
Observation Tips Easiest to find in winter.
Range California, Southwest, Texas, Rocky Mountains
Voice Song is series of tinkling, whistling notes; call is tinkling and belllike.
Discussion Attractive California specialty. Forms flocks outside breeding season and often feeds on thistle seeds. Sexes are dissimilar.