Friday, June 4, 2010

Seeing Red

This is either a purple finch or a house finch. We lean toward the former because it is so uniformly red, but it can be hard to tell them apart. Its head shape actually is more suggestive of the house finch, to me.

Below, it is just getting ready to take off and you can see its wing markings as well as spots on the belly. (Click on the photos to see them larger.)

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Dan Tallman said...

Penny--this is clearly a House Finch. Dan

Penelope said...

Okay - great! It sure is the reddest one we've ever seen. Was head shape the decisive feature?

Dan Tallman said...

The Purple Finch is more of a wine-red, rather than brick red like a House Finch. Although it is a little bit hard to tell in your photos, House Finches also have brownish stripes on the back end--Purple Finches either lack stripes or the stripes are merlot-colored :)