I may be in error, but as winter crept in it seemed that the local, male House Finches tended to present with more vivid red coloring than they donned in the summer months. Perhaps it’s just an artifact of the background colors. The color red set versus the intense greens of summer may not be as brilliant to the eye as when it has only the drab hues of winter as a backdrop.
These male House Finches were filmed since late December until present.
As the House Finches seemed to become increasingly crimson, I began to compare my photos to Purple Finches, which are very similar in size and coloring. I thought (perhaps even hoped) that I had encountered a Purple Finch! Each time I did an evaluation, I was able to confirm that the birds in my area were in fact, House Finches. Albeit quite handsome and colorful, none of “my” birds had purple/ redish coloring on their wings or breast area.
I wondered if I would ever encounter a Purple Finch here at our property. Based on their range, the chance was actually fairly remote. Then I learned that winter 2020/21 has been determined to be a finch irruption year. That means that several species of finches have moved farther south in search of winter feeding grounds, than normal. My hopes of seeing a Purple Finch had heightened. My observation of the local finches became more focused.
Yesterday, while many House Finches visited the platform feeder for the new seeds I put out (see a video HERE) I paid special attention to the males. Did their red coloring run down their wings? But, alas, I began to concede that I would not be privy to the special irruption experience. The birds were all House Finches.
I considered that there was the chance that I might see a female Purple Finch, so I took note of the differences between female House finches and female Purple finches. Here are a few female House Finches that I filmed yesterday.
All of a sudden I spotted a new bird. It wasn’t one I had ever seen. With a crisp, streaky breast, the brown and white bird looked quite similar to female House Finches. But Not.
Unlike the House Finches, this bird donned broad, white streaks over her eyes. I first spotted her on the feeder partaking in a black sunflower seed. Soon she flitted about to the nearby trees and bramble. I was able to capture her simple beauty in several locations.
I can only hope that she found the feeder sufficient to invite a date to the party! Today has been cold and raining (hard) all day. So, I didn’t go out and replenish the seeds. Tomorrow a winter storm is approaching, with temps expected in the single digits (F) over the weekend. So, I hope to get out and put some nourishment for the birds before that happens. I truly would love the opportunity to film a male Purple Finch, too! This little gal I filmed seems like quite a catch! So, hopefully she will find a guy to escort to feeder at a time I’m out filming.