About The Name

The name comes from a probably Redpoll X Siskin hybrid that was collected in Waltham in 1870 and has not been reported since. I seem to remember reading about it in Griscom’s Birds of Concord (I think, can’t find it at the library any more), but here’s an interesting old newsgroup post on it and other mystery birds.

Last year, Bob Stymeist emailed me to tell me that he was cleaning up the collections at the MCZ and found the actual specimen. I found some free time in February and was able to go in and see it. A bit disappointing in a way, it was a very washed out bird that looked a lot like a redpoll without some of the face pattern. I took a few pictures, several of which didn’t quite come out (I’m not the only one to manage to do that with a specimen at least). I’ll get one up on here eventually (assuming I figure out the MCZ rules).

2009 update: Better than my lousy photo, Google Books now has Brewster’s Birds of the Cambridge Region available. It includes a description and a plate, which I’ve exported and put here:

Brewster's Linnet