Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Bowen Island Garden Birds - Brown-headed Cowbird, Purple Finch

June 17, 18 and 22 - Bowen Island, BC. Two more birds I'd never seen before.

I saw my first Brown-headed Cowbirds on our BC road trip, but didn't get much time to observe them. Both males and females came to our friends' feeder on Bowen Island.It took me a while to identify Purple Finches. They are very similar to the House Finches that are our most common backyard bird in Tucson, but are much more colourful. I believe I have the correct identification. The Cornell web site has a page that describes the differences between House Finches, Purple Finches and Cassin's Finches. The male Purple Finch "shows a deep reddish-purple color on most of the head, back and chest ...", whereas the male House Finch's "'headband' of red contrasts with the brown cap and brown cheek patch." endment writes beautifully about the Purple Finch in a post on April 12.
P.S. I'm still not sure whether this is a Purple Finch or a House Finch. It doesn't have a brown cap but it does have a brown cheek patch. I'd be very happy if someone would make a positive identification.


Jean said...

Comment faites vous pour faire ces si nombreuses belles photos ?
De nombreux oiseaux vivent dans notre jardin , mais je ne suis jamais arrivé à faire des photos comme vous .
bravo !

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Hi Pam...

I am more familiar with the house finches. The males bring their females to the porch. The females feed while the males serenade them.

I love it.

robin andrea said...

I can't tell the difference between the House Finch and the Purple Finch. I think that one of them has a shorter tail, but I can't remeber which. Sorry I'm no help whatsoever. Which ever one you have here, it is quite a beauty.

Pam in Tucson said...

jean - Merci! Quand les oiseaux restent, ce n'est pas si difficile. Bonnes vacances! A bientôt.

cynthia - We have as many as 60 house finches in our yard, vying for the feeders. Our males aren't as gallant ;)

robin andrea - We had a house finch here the other day that was as red as these birds, but definitely had the requisite tan patches.