Flo Rutherford writes: I did some googling and figured it for either a saffron or an orange-fronted yellow finch. They appear to be similar, but maybe the saffron is more likely to be found as a pet. The little guy has been gone for several days now, and a Cooper's Hawk has been hanging around. He disappeared and returned before, so I'm going to hope that he decided to find a safer place to feed, rather than that he became a meal. No feathers...
First, Stiles pointed out that the bird in question is almost certainly not a falcon -- he thinks it is more likely a young Red-shouldered Hawk.
More curiously, he notes that the hawk has bluish legs, very much like a photo that I took of an injured Red-shouldered Hawk several years ago (it's on Page 9 of "Survival: The Red-shouldered Hawks of Allendale)."
Stiles wonders whether these hawks get bluish legs when they go into shock.
Your input would be most welcome.
I have e-mailed the photographer, the most excellent Tyson Trish, for other photos of Wednesday's raptor for ID purposes.
"Here's the little interloper who's been making himself at home. He seems to be hanging out around the house finches, but not really acting as part of their gang.
"I can't help but wonder how an Amazonian bird will do in the winter, but he's been through some cold nights and seems fine. He's awfully conspicuous, though, for the periodic Coop swoop. It'll be interesting to see how he fares.
"Maybe somebody will recognize their escapee."
Owl ornaments especially seem to like our annual evergreen, they are just too well hidden to be seen.