I've seen glimpses of this bird on the sunflower seeds and wondered - from the back - if it was a female goldfinch. Today I got a better look, and it's definitely not. The bill is distinctive, and the only match I can find is a female red crossbill. But the range maps don't show it this far south or east by a long ways. Nor do they show an area of migration. What do you think?
A crossbill in Iowa?
Yes, it looks like it to me. They have been seen in Iowa before, but most often in the winter.
I would suggest you contact the Iowa Ornithologists' Union to let them know of your find, if you wish The contact button is on this page.
If you lived a little closer, I'd be tempted to go your way to see this bird. :)
Yep, female Red Crossbill.
Likely a cone crop failure in their normal areas has forced them away to search for other food sources, crossbills are very nomadic in response to cone crop variations.