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.
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.
|Young male? Older female? We may never know|
|Male and possible female posing nicely|
|This could get ugly|
|A dusting of snow|