Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Purple Finch...

Described as a sparrow dipped in raspberry juice, the Purple Finch can be found throughout much of eastern North America and Canada.  It can be difficult to distinguish from its close relative the House Finch, and if I have this ID wrong, please correct me! 



The Male Purple Finch is reddish-purple with brown undertones on its back and wings (more of an extensive red coloring than the male House Finch). The female, however, has no red coloring, but is heavily streaked with strong facial markings including a white eye-stripe (the female House Finch lacks these dramatic markings).  It can take up to two years for the male to reach its full red coloring and the first year males' markings appear very similar to a female.   So... are my last two photos of a female or an immature male?  










For more posts, info and photography of birds, visit Bird Photography Weekly and World Bird Wednesday.

26 comments:

  1. Oh what a unique red color feather on a bird! So cute.

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  2. Beautiful, what a wonderful bird!

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  3. I also find it difficult to tell the two apart. I have many of both in my garden. Great photos!

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  4. I think you did great on this post Rebecca! I think one of the best ways to tell a Purple from a House finch is when they are next to each other!! What a difference! But yes the females (and young males now that we know this) are a good way too! The Purples are getting ready to head north from my house...or is that the House Finch!!! hahahaha!

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  5. Excellent post on the Purple Finch Rebecca. The last two photos are indeed females. Note the more heavily striped breast. Great shots!

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  6. Oh these are beautiful shots! We get the house finches here but I don't think I've ever seen a purple finch.

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  7. I love that description, 'a sparrow dipped in raspberry juice'. Very appropriate. A beauty.

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  8. Purple Finch male and female are beauties and you've caught them well!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  9. Never seen anything like it. A beautiful bird and great shots.

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  10. Great photos and I like the description of the bird dipped in raspberry juice.

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  11. The red one and the long neck - what a beautiful couple! Very fine shots!

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  12. Wonderful photos,the poses are so nice! Great work, Rebecca!

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  13. Great bird and I love the color on the male.

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  14. "A sparrow dipped in raspberry juice!"
    How perfect is that? This is a great study Rebecca, I appreciate the information. The second shot of the male crouched and ready for flight is spectacular.

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  15. Very interesting. We do not have them here, but have their cousins, House Finch and Cassin's. Thanks for posting so I can study the difference.

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  16. Lovely bids to see. Great images thanks for sharing.

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  17. Excellent captures of the Purple Finch!

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  18. Lovely little bird! I've only seen the House Finch here (that I know of). Nice group of photos and info!

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  19. I didn't know there are many colors of finch. I think here in my backyard I've seen only the brown one. Do you give a special seeds?

    World Bird Wednesday

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  20. I love the third photo, she is really trying to figure you out. As always, great pictures!
    the wanna be country girl - Caroline

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  21. Totally love these birds...Your photos are terrific!!!!

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  22. What a lovely bird -- nice captures!

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  23. I'm still not sure if I've ever seen a Purple Finch, but I'm sure I have. I think I just always expect them to be House Finches.

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  24. That's a purple finch.

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