Saturday, November 13, 2010

House vs. Purple

Identifying House Finch from Purple Finch seems to be an important task this year since so many of the latter species are showing up in Connecticut backyards. I set my HD camera up at my bird feeders earlier today to film a female of each species side by side. In this first video on feeder birds, you can also see I edited in some Tufted Titmouse, Black-capped Chickadee, White-breasted Nuthatch stopping by the tray to grab a sunflower seed. The female Purple Finch appears around the 30-second mark. It stays in the right part of the tray in the sunlight while female and male House Finch appear more on the left and in the rear.

Note the slightly larger size body and head of the Purple Finch, the larger conical bill, as well as the obvious white eyebrow and bold facial pattern compared to the duller, lighter, relatively uniform brown female House Finch. Cornell's Project FeederWatch site has a good finch comparison page with illustrations and photos. Once you get the hang of identifying them at your feeders, you can try picking them out in the air as they zoom by you at a hawk watch. This is especially "fun" if they pass by silently not long after sunrise. I will be doing more videos of this kind this fall and winter season continues. Now if only I can get some Evening Grosbeaks in that tray while I have my camera set up...

Video © Scott Kruitbosch

1 comment:

  1. great post on the fine points of ID - great to see them side by side.