House FinchDecember 2009

  Several years ago, when in the high lands of Utah, I was surprised to come across house finches. I should have known better, since when Sue and I returned home, I read that house finches originally came from the Southwest. Decades ago, some house finches were taken to New York City, escaped, and dispersely throughout the Northeast.

For that matter, I used to see house finches more often in Queens or Long Island than I do in Pennsylvania; however, they're merry little birds and a welcome sight.

House finches tend to show up at our feeders during the cold weather. Below, a male and a female house finch are sharing feeder space with a chipping sparrow.

House finch couple
  It can be difficult telling house finches apart from purple finches. Purple finches are somewhat larger, and the male tends to be more red than a male house finch. A female purple finch has a broad facial stripe, which the female house finch (below) does not have.

Female house finch
  What I enjoy about house finches is that they have a lot of character.


Male house finch
  The male above looks like he's going to break out into a tremendous song.

Photo note: The first two photos were taken during October 2009, in State College, with the Pentax K20D, with the SMC-DA 55-300mm, and the third was taken in January 2009 with the K20D, with the SMC-A* 300mm lens.

Pennsylvania bird list

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