Saturday, January 31, 2015

magnificent finch

Good birding at Ijams. And you really do not have to walk that far. In addition to the juvenile red-headed woodpecker that's been hanging around the parking lot, this morning in front of the Visitor Center we had a purple finch and a pine siskin. (There's got to be more. They never travel alone.)

Photographer Chuck Cooper got the magnificent finch listed as an irregular winter visitor throughout the east but their population numbers have been dropping for years.

As the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website states, "Purple Finches seem to be losing numbers in eastern North America as House Finches have moved in after being brought to New York City in the 1950s. One study of finch behavior found that Purple Finches lost out to House Finches more than 95 percent of the times the two birds encountered each other."

The lookalike house finches are in our area year round but the declining purple finches—really more raspberry colored than purple—are much harder to locate. But doing so is a memorable moment. 

Thank you, Chuck! For sharing your find. 

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