March 09, 2014

Purple Fever

Purple Finches
The elusive Purple Finch.

Elusive to me anyway -- the one and only time I had seen these guys, until last weekend, was a distant view on an early morning paddle in 2011 (cropped, mediocre shot on right). So it's fair to say I was a little distracted when we arrived up at the lake last Saturday to find the feeders being absolutely swarmed by Purple Finches. I probably spent as much time with my lens pressed up against the windows as I did visiting with the folks.

Of course it's always worth the two hour drive just to spend time with the family, but what a bonus when something like this happens as well!

It gave me the opportunity not only to get some nice shots, but as I always tend to do in the days after seeing a particular bird, to do some reading up on the Purple Finch.


Purple Finches
Double Double


Like many, I had thought that the brown ones that show a bit of red (or sometimes buffy yellow like the one below) were young males, but I recently learned that older females can show colour on the head, rump, face or throat too. So if I understand this all correctly, all I can really say with absolute confidence is that this is definitely not an adult male.

Purple Finch
Young male? Older female? We may never know
Purple Finches
Male and possible female posing nicely
Purple Finches
This could get ugly
Purple Finch
A dusting of snow
Purple Finch
Profile shot

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