Monday, March 9, 2009

Seeing Double

Does anyone get House Finches and Purple Finches
mixed up. They always confuse me and make my eyes
cross trying to sort them out.

Purple Finch

Purple Finch

I have noticed several birds drinking sap from where a limb broke off.

House Finch

House Finch

Maybe some of you bird watchers can help me figure them out.
Is the brown stripe on the bellies the way to tell a House Finch
from a Purple Finch? The first three have no brown stripes and
I was thinking they were Purple Finches or am I just looking for
an easy way to Id them. The red on the Purple Finch may travel
further down the breast feathers.

Male and Female House Finch

So then how do you tell the female House Finch from the female
Purple Finch?

I think I need a good book on birds!
I am so confused! ;-)


Cathy said...

Nice Photos of the Finches, I don't get to see too many of them around our area. But I do get to see Hawks.

Cinj said...

Geez, that does look confusing. I have a hard time telling some birds apart too.

Life At Camellia Cottage said...

Hi Lona! You aren't alone, this is confusing to me, too. Here's what my book says:

House Finch: Look for the streaked breast and belly and brown cap of male House Finch. Male Purple Finch is very similar, but male House Finch lacks the red crown. (Something I didn't know until just now is that House Finches suffer from a fatal eye disease that causes the eyes to crust over. So sad!)

Purple Finch: Redder than the orange red of male House Finch, with a clear (no streaking) red breast. The male House Finch has a brown cap, compared with the male Purple Finch's red cap.

Hope this helps! Becky G.

Life At Camellia Cottage said...

Okay, me again! If I had to make a guess, here's what I think your pictures are:

1 - Purple
2 - House
3 - House
4 - Purple
5 - Beats me!
6 - Purple
7 - pair of Purples
8 - House

Also according to my book, the female Purple finch has a 'large white eyebrow' or white streak above it's eye that the House Finch doesn't have.

Hope that helps! By the way, I have a great book "Birds of Georgia - Field Guide" by Stan Tekiela. I have learned much about birds here at my home by going through that book many times. I'm sure there is a similar one for Ohio!

Janet said...

Lona, I have what I believe to be House Finches. Will have to look more closely to figure out if any of them are Purple Finches. Whoever they are, they are taking twigs off my thyme to make a nest. It is a riot to watch. They hop into my planter and snap off little twigs of thyme and fly off with them.

Anonymous said...

Hi~~ I am not a bird person, or "avian" as they say, so I can't help you with bird identities. But I know a pretty picture when I see one...several in fact. What beautiful visitors you're attracting. I hope someone can offer insight. :)

Barbarapc said...

Lona, don't know if it's my screen - but it looks like those pretty little birds got their colour from those gorgeous begonias at the top of your blog. Lovely little bird photos.

Balisha said...

House Finch or Purple Finch?
There are two “sparrows dipped in raspberry sauce", the House Finch and the Purple Finch. To tell the difference – the House Finch is slimmer with a short stubby bill that looks to be curved downward in a frown. The Purple Finch is plumper with a cone shaped bill. Lots of books will go on about how the red color is much more extensive on the Purple Finch and the House Finch has more brown on the top of the head but I find the bill to be the key I can use in the field...."
I got this from the internet.I have the same problem. I liked the description of the bird being dipped in raspberry sauce.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

Even with everyone great help I am not sure I will ever get them straight maybe I better stick to Cardinals, Blue Jay or Doves :)
Thanks Becky for dropping by, you and Balisha went to great lengths to educate me and I will concentrate on size and bills.
Janet, Cindy, Grace, Cathy and Barbara: they are a very pretty bird and have added to the color of winter with the cardinals.


Sorry for the short replies girls but I am suffering from vertigo and not feeling well.

Mariaberg said...

I need that book too!
I gave to birds that are black, white and yellow and I always mix them up - But now i have bought a new lens for the camera so I can get closer and hope fully I will learn the name correct.
When I get good pictures I will show them on my blog,
I like you photos.