Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bird a Day - House Finch

What: There's been a house finch singing around my property the past couple of weeks. Here's a shot of the male mid-song. The females have the same patterns on their bodies, but as with other finches (Fringillidae family) and grosbeaks (Emberizidae family), they are a drab brown.

Ecological notes: House finches are more recent "introductions" to the eastern US. According to Cornell's Lab of Ornithology's website, All About Birds, the story goes that they were being sold illegally in pet shops in NYC (can't sell migratory song birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918). Fearing prosecution, shop holders released their charges into the wilds of Long Island. They quickly spread out of the city and now cover much of the US (map). In the east, house finches stick more to urban and suburban areas, and in these places have begun replacing the native purple finch, which bears a similar red to the house finch.

Where: My backyard

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