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Category Archives: House Finch

Who knew the black-headed grosbeak was hiding all that yellow under his wing? (um … bird experts did, I suppose, but I’m just an amateur, so … )

I think the lady above is a female Brewer’s Blackbird. Her coloring is so rich and beautiful. Did you know that the Brewer’s Blackbird enjoys a steady diet of roadkill? Yup, insect roadkill.

The Brown-headed Cowbirds (below) may be considered pests, but I think the lady cowbirds are some of the most elegant birds around.

A cowbird lady, however, will lay her eggs in other birds’ nests and let them raise her children. Apparently, building nests and incubating eggs don’t fit into this nomadic lifestyle.

I’m still chasing after the Western Scrub Jay, trying to get a clear shot. This bird has a nest just outside my kitchen window, I watched them fly in and out of the tree building it, but I still can’t get close.

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These photos were taken from the breakfast room at my mom’s house this afternoon. So many wonderfully posing  songsters …

This little stunner is the Washington State bird. It’s easy to see why he was chosen when you see him posing in such an elegantly proud manner.

“Did I hear you say you think I’m handsome?” he seems to ask.

“Aw, shucks.”

There is a rowdy bunch of Pine Siskins up there on the hill, they always seem to be scrapping over something. I love to watch the feisty little scrappers.

I love it when they stare right into the camera lens.

Did you know that underneath the Pine Siskins wing there is another flash of yellow?

The Red-winged Blackbird is one of my all-time favorites. I had a few “almost” good shots of males flying in, but the light was just too low.

“He went thataway!”

This isn’t a stunning photo, but it’s a stunning example of his species. The red was so bright and clear, but I couldn’t get him to come out from behind the branches. What a looker he was, I bet he’s got himself a nice girlfriend (the girls all say the redder the feathers, the better mate). 🙂

On the way out the door I came across three deer and a bunny.

A good day for fur and feathers.

The more carotenoids a male house finch consumes during foraging, the brighter red his plumage will become. The girls prefer the brightest red, they say, guys sporting golden yellows, apparently, are less desirable mates.

“In the wild, three carotenoid pigments found in natural foods give House Finches their color. Beta-carotene produces yellow to orange colors, isocryptoxanthin produces orange colors, and echinenone produces red colors.”

~Project FeederWatch, Color Variations in House Finches

I do not know which foods have which yellow, orange or red producing carotenoids in them. And I don’t know why the gals might think the boys in red make better mates.

Personally, I think the guy in the Tequila Sunrise set of finery is pretty handsome.

April showers bring May flowers, or so they say, but I’m ready for some sun. This rain has been a relentless, sideways misting that has soaked everything around me. Enough already!

These shots were taken through the glass of my front window. I know they aren’t the best quality, but I just had to share the funky hairdos of my favorite Golden-crowned Sparrows.