February 26, 2013

Purple or House Finches?

House finches visit the feeders every day. Once in a while there are one or two who are much brighter than the regulars. I have suspected these are purple finches. They don't usually stay long enough to be examined through the binoculars or allow me to get a picture of them, so I haven't been able to confirm it - until this morning. I saw them from the dining room window, grabbed the camera, went downstairs and slowly and quietly opened the door. I dared not step outside. Through the screen I took these photos.

I uploaded the pictures to the Great Backyard Bird Count Group on Facebook and asked the members to help me identify if they truly are purple finches. I was given that confirmation!

Addendum: After posting this, others in the group commented that these are indeed house finches and sited the brown cap and stripe on the side of the head. I looked through my bird books and pictures from professional sites on line, and found a large assortment of coloration on the purple finch. If the females would join the males, identification would be much easier, as the female purple finch has a distinct white stripe along the side of her head!

So as of now, I am NOT sure whether I have seen a purple finch or not!

1 comment:

  1. No kidding. My birding mentor (Mr. Science) has explain the differences to me so many times I've lost count. And I still get them goofed up...:)


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