Monday, May 23, 2011

Bird a Day: House Finch

I was going to try to avoid the most common birds for my Bird a Day posts, but the bad weather we've been having isn't good for taking pictures so I'll have to use what I have.  This little House Finch male was taken at my parent's house.  This is the male that has a nest on the porch above the outdoor speaker.  My cat was lying near the nest and he came down close to tell her he didn't think that was a good idea.

So, a little about House Finches.  Many people may not know that House Finches are actually an introduced species, in the eastern U.S. anyway.  House Finches historically ranged from Texas to Montana and west to California.  It wasn't until the 1940's when pet finches were turned loose in New York and they quickly spread across the east and have now almost reached as far west as their original range.  They were introduced into Hawaii as well some 70 years earlier and have taken over the Hawaiian Islands as well.  They suffer from a disease known as mycoplasmal conjunctivitis that causes swollen eyes, feather loss, and respiratory problems.  It is thought this disease is so common in House Finches because of the small founding population in the east and with such a small gene pool they are more susceptible to disease.

House Finch

If you want to know what a House Finch looks like, look out your window, there is probably one on your deck or in the trees around your house.  The name House Finch comes from their affinity for nesting around human development.  The males as you can see are a bright strawberry red on the head and most of the body.  They have brown streaking along the sides and breast.  Females lack most of the red and are very plain and also have the streaking on the sides and breast.


Fotokarusellen said...

A beautiful red little guy. Great capture.

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