Oriental Greenfinch

Carduelis sinica

There is only one Pribilof record for this small but attractive old-world finch. The other North American records (roughly 18 in all) come from the far western Aleutians. The Pribilof bird was found out in the open tundra along the north road to Sheep Lake on June 12, 1996. Oriental Greenfinches are roughly the size of a house finch, with large yellow wing patches, white in the tertials, pink bills, and yellow undertails. The adult male has a greenish face and rump, dark gray crown and olive-brown body. The female is dull, lacking the green tones to the face and the grayish crown and has a pale brown belly. The yellow wing patches make this bird quite distinctive in flight, a boon to birders who might accidentally flush this species from along the roadsides. Given that Oriental Greenfinches have an established pattern of vagrancy to the outer Aleutians it is likely that given the right storm conditions this species will again reach the shores of Saint Paul.