Birding Notes

Reflections on birds and other wildlife on the edge of a southern woodland

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Purple Finch in a Pine Tree

Today a Purple Finch came to our back deck and to the pine trees nearby. He looked like a glowing cherry-red smudge among the green needles of the pines, in late morning light. His whole head and face were deeply, darkly red, as if they had been stained with juice, and the stain spread also down his back. The crown of his head rose up in a rounded peak, and he held himself erect and tall on the branch.

And he sang. That was a bonus! I don’t know finch songs well at all, and seldom see or hear a Purple Finch, and would not have recognized it if I hadn’t seen him singing. It sounded generally “finch-like,” but was lower in pitch and more mellow, more rounded in tone than a House Finch, I think.

Unfortunately, he didn’t stay long. He flew deeper into the woods, and I did not see him again the rest of the day, nor did I see a female, though I looked for them around the edges of the yard several times.


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