What kind of bird landed on Bernie’s podium?

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You all know this happened.

But there is some controversy over what kind of bird it is.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the bird was a finch. However, what kind? Most likely a house finch, because they are common, and the most likely to live in a big auditorium thingie and not be fearful of people.

A pic of the bird is above. Here is another:

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 5.35.55 PM

What do you think it is?

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39 thoughts on “What kind of bird landed on Bernie’s podium?

  1. I’m not a bird person, but near as I can tell from “All the Birds of North American” looks most like a house finch.

    Did someone say Birdie Sanders?

  2. My first thought on seeing the flash of yellow was that it’s a pine siskin. I have a lot of them in my yard each year and they are far “tamer” than sparrows.

  3. Angela, what is a green house finch? A variant of a house finch or some other species?

    I thought a “white house finch” was a color morph of a house finch. If so, this is not what of those because it is not white. But I don’t know my western birds very well.

  4. Before I took a closer look, my first impression was a vireo. That’s the problem with going by color. The lighting, camera, and color context can be very deceptive.

    Going by color alone in the two shots above, you might be tempted to say it was two different birds.

    Aside from the overall form of the bird, a hard look at the patterns of light and dark on the folded wings and breast is revealing. To my untutored eye, it’s a reasonably close match to the female house finch in my guide.

  5. It’s a female house finch.

    “white house finch” above is a joke based on the office Bernie is running for, I’m sure.

  6. Definitely not an evening grosbeak. Those are huge, bright yellow and black. This is either a pine siskin or a house finch in odd lighting.

  7. It looks like a finch to me. Hard to tell from color, but it seems a bit greenish, which could be the female Goldfinch. The males are bright yellow, but the juveniles and females are more plain and can look chartreuse/ brown. They just showed up 2 weeks ago in Denver, so they’re coming back from migration.

  8. After consulting my bird books, I think the bird on the podium was a female White-winged Crossbill and therefore a finch for sure.

  9. Holy crap, Pierre-Normand Houle blew my mind with his comment! Love Bernie, love Finch, love Bernie and the finch.

    1. BeSpoke Folly: “My research tells me its an Omen Pigeon”

      “Come with me, Mahhhhrk!”

  10. I’d also say it’s a pine siskin. House Finches look more red. I have never seen a house finch looking this yellow.

  11. Yeah, actually I think it is a female house finch after all. Beak is to big for pine siskin and females don’t have much red on them.

  12. When I first saw house finches about four or five years ago here in Calgary, I had a bit of a hard time identifying them. They have gone from being very rare here to quite common year-round residents. I often see them in with house sparrows, so it is necessary to look fairly closely to distinguish the females of the two species – they aren’t hard to tell apart, but you do have to see them clearly, since they are very similar in size, shape and “average” color.

    I’m quite fond of them. They sing big long strings of pleasant, musical random tweatelage (unlike the house sparrows).

  13. It has a heavily-streaked breast, so it can’t be a goldfinch or lesser goldfinch, probably a female house finch and it’s just the lighting that makes it look yellowish.

  14. I used my Audubon app to find this bird. The only bird that resembles this one and can be found in that area, and is the same size and shape, is the California Towhee. The bird family is New World Sparrows.

  15. Pine siskin. It’s got a tiny bit of yellow. A female house finch is more whitish and brown. Also, pine siskins are known to be very unafraid of people. One landed on my son’s head once when we were on our porch!

  16. I live in the neighborhood of the auditorium in Portland and I think it’s a female pine siskin. I’ve been watching them in my yard all year.

  17. May I say what I believe in my soul… At a time in my life of extreme significance to me personally I had such a bird- but the male coloring- appear in a thunderous downpour at my window, yelling and beating his wings on the window. When I accepted what it was, it flew away. I know it was an emanation of God’s love. I have held it as one of the most sacred experience of my life. It still means everything to me. The female goldfinch that landed for Bernie, I am certain in my heart of hearts was -an emanation of the Holy Spirit. And we have all seen this too. I feel we are all beyond fortunate. Bernie has awakened and developed me closer to living from my spiritual center or soul and ability to live in unconditional love moment by moment when I am mindful. Seeing that beautiful bird has given me great hope for humanity.

  18. I just did a search to see about birds in spiritual traditions. I am a Buddhist but interested in Christianity and so looked into the Bible references and there are many to sparrows which I then followed to links that explain “sparrow” is meant to include any little bird alike it. It says many things but one I found said it is a symbol of God’s concern for the meekest and weakest among us. I know Bernie shares that concern.

  19. So no one has made mention of the difference between Bernie’s bird and Trump’s? (A Bald Eagle)
    Bernie’s bird attended his rally and said its piece.
    Trump’s bird attacked him.
    Nature DOES have a conscience and an opinion, as evidence clearly demonstrates.


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