|White-collared ("Cinnamon-rumped") Seadeater. Dairy Mart Ponds, Tijuana River Valley, San Ysidro, California.|
March 2, 2014. Greg Gillson.
Again, this is the West Mexico form, more richly colored than what you'll find in the North American field guides (yes, I know that Mexico is in North America, but field guides don't!).
This is a small bird about junco-sized. I didn't get too much time to observe the bird before it flew off with the typically undulating flight of a finch. But I did snap several photos, most with the bird hidden behind the willow leaves as it ate the blossoms.
Evidently it is fairly common as a cage bird in Tijuana, Mexico, only a mile or so from where I spotted this bird. Though this individual doesn't show any signs of having been in a cage recently (or maybe ever), the species hasn't been established long enough in this area of California to be countable according to the California Birds Record Committee. The general rule for such birds to be considered "established" is that birds have to be maintaining a viable population for many years (~15) without needing extra "excapees" or released birds to keep the population going.
So, an interesting exotic, but not a countable "wild" bird that will NOT go on my list.