Sunday, January 24, 2016

Purple Finches Up Close! - 19 Jan 2016

I walked in the door just a few minutes ago and looked out the back window. Just under the window were a pair of Purple Finches foraging for sunflower oilers in the mulch pile. With the scope ready at the go I took a few minutes to get some digiscoped images of the two 'apparent' females. Upon closer inspection, one appeared to be a juvenile male that is starting its transition from juvenal plumage to adult plumage.

First, the apparent female Purple Finch. Note the bold white eyestripe that differentiates it from the similar-but-slightly duller female House Finch that has a more muted pattern. Feather color is brown with just a tinge of yellow against white belly and flank feathers. Leading edges of primary feathers show some green-yellow coloration when viewed up close.

The second Purple Finch showed similar patterning of feathers, but is starting to show the cranberry coloration that is apparent in the adult male birds. This bird appears to be transitioning into a adult male plumage? Time will tell...

They would flush moments later when a Cooper's Hawk flew in and landed in the back forty.

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