White-collared Seedeater (Sporophila torqueola)
Water Ranch, Gilbert, AZ
South side of Pond 7, in low bushes near bench at east end of path between ponds 5 and 7.
Friday, October 3, 2008, 8:01 AM
This is a species common in Mexico and with a small population in Texas along the Rio Grande River. It is not a bird expected in Arizona. There have been few other documented sightings. The belief is that all seedeaters seen in AZ are escaped cage birds brought into the U.S. from the booming cage bird trade in Mexico. "Proving" natural wild origin of this bird is unlikely, but if enough are seen over enough years a pattern may be detected that suports a natural range expansion.
This is the western race, not the eastern form found in Texas.
I found this bird at the Water Ranch in Gilbert, AZ, on October 3, 2008. It was seen again by a few other birders looking for it over the following week or so