Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Purple-pink finches

I chanced to look out at the feeders to see 4 male purple finches on the feeders. While studying them and sketching the head patterns I noticed the white about the lores and base of the bill, a feature I'd never noticed before.
At first I thought that it was just one of the birds growing new feathers, but all of them had it and when I looked back at other pics I've taken in January and November those pics showed the mark as well.

The colors were hard to truly capture. Most of my photos show the bird redder than the pink they were in life and the vague lavender tones don't come through at all. They also had a rich rufous brown to the edges of the secondaries and coverts which also doesn't show as well.

Here one of the birds raised its cap, which they were prone to do, giving it almost a Cassin's like profile. For the sake of argument (or perhaps for some time when I might blunder into one) a Cassin's should show a more narrow bill and more defined finer streaks along the flanks.

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