Purple Finches?

northspruce(z3a MB CDA)May 3, 2007

I saw these two birds *ahem* mating in my basswood tree yesterday, then they were collecting fuzzy bark to build a nest. :0) I thought they were redpolls at first but I think they nest in the arctic. Does anyone else think they are Purple Finches? Sorry about the really bad photos, they were way up the tree.

Female on left, male on right.

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Yes they look like purple finches...we have them here too. The females are pretty easy to get pics of...the males are very skiddish.

Right now we have lots of white crowned sparrows...they invade for about a week or two in large quantities...clean out the bird feeders every couple of hours then move on. Then through out the summer we only see them occassionally.


    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 11:34AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I know they are around, I think you got them!! Males have allot of red or pinkish and sing sooo...beautifully!
Have never seen one close enough, [usually they stay high on tree tops] to really make positive ID...until the other day, not sure if it's one, I thought males have more red on the chest and a little on the wings, could it be a Cassin's Finch?

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 8:21PM
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Pudge 2b

I think those are House Finches, Gil. Purple Finches are very red all over including the underside and the back just above the tails and a red wash throughout all the wing streaks. I've read them described as 'the whole bird looks like its been dipped in raspberry juice'. I have 3 males and several females at the moment in my yard and am hoping they stay around.

Konrad, I'm fairly certain yours is also a House Finch as well. I find they vary greatly in the amount of red or orange present on the head, neck and breast.

I have had a very special visitor the last couple of days - a European Goldfinch. I managed to get some poor quality photos today, mostly so I could ask the experts for ID which I got today.

Gonna be trying to get a better photo, but in the meantime, this is what it looks like.

Here is a link that might be useful: Photo of European Goldfinch

    Bookmark   May 3, 2007 at 10:33PM
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Wow, Pudge! What a great surprise when you saw that, eh? I've never even seen a picture of that beauty before. I hope he sticks around for you.

Here's s couple pics of what everyone here calls purple finches...are we right then? I have about 20 of them feeding the past two weeks. They are very active.

How about starting a Spring and Summer Visitor Thread? I love seeing everyone's photos and tracking what birds are where.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 1:32AM
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Pudge 2b

Yes, Toots, those are Purple Finches. In the second photo, the bird that's flying away, you can see the deep red coloring on the back aove the tail.

I'll start the spring/summer thread - I also love to see what visitors everyone gets in their yards.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 8:03AM
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I think that the purple finches have also been here too.

Yesterday I was thrilled to see this bird in my yard!! I put out Niger seed a week or two ago, hoping that the Goldfinches would find my yard again this spring. It gives you a thrill to see them back! Notice in the background the flowerbed that I am still 'spring cleaning'. The Smokey Blue Lungwort is blooming in the top left corner of the picture and on the right top you can see the Red Bloom Bergenia blooming through the dead stalks of last years perennials.

A little closer picture of the goldfinch. I moved the niger bird feeder to a flowerbed that is closer to the house this year so I could get better pictures of the goldfinches.


    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 8:56AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Pudge, you might be right about them being House Finches; I didn't consider those because my bird book says they don't live anywhere remotely near Manitoba. But the caption says they are getting established and spreading in the East, and the book is from 1984 so who knows. But from seeing them in person they look more like Toots' pic than Konrads. And he had a pretty song. So who knows. My pics weren't very good. (Great pics everyone except me BTW, LOL)

Funny about the useless bird seed mix I bought - the winter birds picked out all the peanuts and sunflower seeds, and now the finches and things are eating the millet. I guess it wasn't so useless after all :0)

Brenda, I love goldfinches, I was thinking of getting one of those tube feeders too!

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 12:37PM
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Gil, the same thing happened here. Hubby brought home a mix with very little sunflower seeds and that's all the chickadees and grosbeaks wanted. They'd beg for more and the feeder would be full of the millet and whatever else is in the mix. Now, like you say, the finches seem to be content with it.
Re your finches...try getting a good look at the females, too. The purple finch females have very prominent breast streaking with light and dark eye stripes as well, where the house finch females seem to be less streaked and no eye stripe.

What a beautiful bird, Brenda! I must get some niger seed on my shopping list if that's what will show up :)!

Pudge, I never noticed the dark red rump before. Thanks for the tip.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2007 at 3:06PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Lovely picture on the European, purple and goldfinch!!!
Wow....all Goldfinches!!

Actually, today, when checking my owl boxes, I have seen something like it,...any idea?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 1:27AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Gee..I wanted to say,.. all Finches!!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 1:30AM
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If its little I'd say yellow rumped warbler. Did it have a yellow cap? My book shows two varieties of these, 'Myrtle' and 'Audubon', but looks like it would be hard to tell the difference.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2007 at 2:31AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

Thank you Toots!!
Yes it was little, I couldn't tell if it had a yellow cap, only got 2 shots! This is another first for me, now I have a name, this gives me something to study, hopefully I get a better shot next time.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 2:02AM
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