Last April, I looked out my window and there was a pretty little finch with a bright red-head on the wire. He was a very small bird on a very high branch … far away. I grabbed my super zoom Panasonic and took picture.

One red finch on a wire
A little closer …

Shooting through the not very clean living room picture window that also has a rectangular frame around each pane to a tree above my line of sight at almost a full 600 mm extension. It was no surprise that the pictures were not sharp.

Red finch and best lady friend
Two of them on a wire

I was happy to have gotten any pictures at all because by the time I get a camera in hand, there’s nothing to shoot. This time, at least I got some pictures. Not great pictures, but a lot better than nothing.

The lady on her own

The biggest surprise was discovering this was a new bird. The red finches used to be found in pet shops. They originated in the southwest, but made popular cage birds until caging wild birds was made illegal. Pet shop owners just let them go and suddenly, there were red finches all over the country. These were the first I had ever seen.

The boy again …

First there was the male with the bright red-head. Then his lady friend joined him on the wire — our cable wire — and they sat there. Chirping. Surrounded by the buds of a spring that had not yet arrived.

Close up of our lady

Today, I tried to see if i could do something to make the pictures a little less fuzzy and blurry. Better, I think.


House Finch | Audubon Field Guide – National Audubon Society
Adaptable, colorful, and cheery-voiced, House Finches are common from coast to coast today, familiar visitors to backyard feeders. Native to the Southwest, they are recent arrivals in the East. New York pet shop owners, who had been selling the finches illegally, released their birds in 1940 to escape prosecution. A few better pictures below from various other sources:

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. I am retired and delighted to be so. May I live long and write frequently.


    1. They were very hard to shoot. I was glad to have gotten any pictures. They usually are gone before I have the camera at my eye. I think these guys now live in all 48 lower states and Canada, too. A thank you to all those pet shop owners who simply released them all into the wild.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think these are WONDERFUL photos! So impressive how you got them through the dirty window. Yes, I heard the jibe about my failure to clean the window.

        This is still REMARKABLE work, Marilyn.


        1. It was luck. I had the camera here and it wasn’t in its case and I found if I pressed up against the window and pointed up, I could get them without the window in the way. But it was tricky and even if we clean the inside of the windows — all those dog nose prints — the outside won’t be any cleaner. And there’s nothing we can do about it, either. There’s no way to get to those windows from the outside without building a scaffold. Not happening!


    1. They are pretty and though they aren’t native to this area, they don’t seem to be causing any harm and they are lovely to look at. I think they winter a little south of here — maybe New Jersey or Maryland? — and nest and fly through here to points north. There are some interesting maps of how they went from being a local bird in Texas to being a national sensation. It couldn’t happen to a prettier bird.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s a bit early. Sometimes, we get robins this time of year, when February as a warm spell, but this year, the smart birds are waiting until the snow finishes. I always hate to see the shivering spring birds in a March blizzard.


          1. I know, right? I h a t e them and because of the total clearing out last year we had plenty of them. HOpefully they’ll have all found their homes, and they won’t be with US! lol


    1. These little guys are less than half the size of a robin.They are quite tiny, but the boy has such a bright head, he’s hard to miss. My window is very difficult to shoot through, though. Between the wood frame and the dirt which no one can get to because someone stole the ladder and even when we had one, no one was willing to try to get to the window from the ground — it’s a long climb on very uneven and sometimes very soft ground — those windows haven’t been cleaned from the outside in a very long time. Years. Ever is possible. But at least i got a few pictures.

      Liked by 1 person

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