As we slip through the closing days of winter, and bid the season a guarded adieu, we get one last gift: purple finches, at both my feeders at home and the nature center. Seed-eaters like most finches, they're attracted to black oil sunflower seeds.
Wow, how I love this colorful bird, but they are only in the valley in winter and very irregularly at that. It's been a few years since I saw so many.
Needless to say, they really are not purple but softer shades of pink and raspberry, like a rosé wine from the Provence region of France. Joie de vivre. Although only the hes are so hued, the shes dress in browns. (Yes, real males can wear pink.) The females are attracted to the most intensely colorful males. The drab boys may have to sit this breeding season out.
They nest much farther to the north: Great Lakes into New England and Southern Canada, so they will be on their way soon.
Adieu. Adieu. Pink boys, adieu.