Friday, March 28, 2008

Red Bird Invasion
What a surprise to see our goldfinches pushed aside by these new visitors. They are slightly bigger than sparrows and pretty much orangey-red for purple finches.
And the female is dull as dirt brown, with stripes.

I am late to birdwatching but now totally hooked since our feeder attracts so many all day. We can sit at the dining room table and watch them up close. They can't see us because the light is off and we are in the dark.
We had purple finches in IL but the field guide says these orangey ones are house finches. Not nearly as glamorous a name as I would like.
Springtime is the beginning of noisy season, with the frog chorus already started and all the birds singing. The wind chime tries to organize the rhythm, to no avail.
We expect a good three days of rain, and after all the new plantings I have done, I am happy to have a rest. Not everything is in yet, but my planting arm is throbbing and I must let it recoup.

6 comments:

  1. I love finches. I had a house finch that used to sit outside my office window in town and sing his little beak off. I always thought they looked like sparrows dipped in raspberry jam.

    teri

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  2. We have a couple types of finches. The gold finch feeder is right outside Hack's office window. I love how they feed upside down and their flying pattern is so distinct. I have never seen a red finch. How neat! Suppose at one time one of them broke away and had a brief fling with a cardinal?

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  3. I think they must be purple finches or maybe an eastern strain of house finches. I've never seen a red head on a house finch and I have seen them all over the west. Del

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  4. It was the house finches that got me interested in bird feeding and watching. I had never seen those little beauties before moving to Tennessee. Raspberry jam? I love it!

    Now, the mockingbirds are not my favorite because of their aggressivness, but I sure do love to hear them sing.

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  5. Here in Central Ohio, they're always house finches. Sometimes I have to look twice because some seem redder than others, but the streaked breast on the males says "house finch".

    My new doggies like to chase the birds. Breaks my heart because I'm a bird watcher too. Maybe they'll grow out of it. :(

    Twinnie Susan

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  6. Anonymous6:37 PM

    Check out the image of redpolls in your field guide. These look mighty like your picture. They are slightly bigger than a sparrow, looking like someone caught them and dipped them in red paint.

    Joan from Missouri

    Gardening tip: Dig your fingernails into a bar of soap BEFORE going out to play in the dirt. A quick wash up afterwards renders under-fingernails clean without scrubbing at all!

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