Birders seek to identify mysterious Spit bird

The Kachemak Bay Birders are seeking help in identifying this mystery bird photographed by visitor David Hanson on June 6 on a roof near Spit Sisters on the Homer Spit. Homer birders with knowledge of Alaska birds do not think this is a bird native to Alaska and might be an escaped caged bird. The bird has a yellow band on its right leg. Wild birds would have a metal band, said Lani Raymond of the Kachemak Bay Birders. She said birds with yellow bands may be from Peru. Birders have guessed that this bird might be a common grackle, a melodious blackbird, a shiny cowbird, a juvenile rusty blackbird and a soiled song sparrow.

The bird is about 8-to-9 inches long, all black, with faint spotting on the flanks and dark eyes. Anyone with information on the bird can call 399-9477 or email