DAY OF THE RED FINCHES – Marilyn Armstrong

For the past month, the Goldfinches have dominated the feeders out on the deck. As soon as the squirrels leave in the morning, the Goldfinches show up.

Only the Juncos seemed ready to compete today, though there were a few doves wandering the deck too

Two red Finches and a Junco

A whirl of wings

Dozens of them and although they let some larger birds share in the bounty, it’s pretty hard to find a place to perch when all the feeders are covered with Goldfinches.

The markings on these are quite different, so are they the same breed?

Three red Finches

A red Finch and a Tufted Titmouse

Today, the Red Finches shows up. A whole flock of them! There were a few odd Goldfinches here and there, but it was definitely a day of Purple and House Finches … and no, I really can’t tell them apart.

A Slate Junco gets a private moment on the feeder

Hanging onto the feeder

I just call them red and I am pretty sure they are one or the other. I also need to point out that these are really fat birds. The Tufted Titmouse has a tummy that must make it hard for him to get his beak into the feeder.

Looking up

Garry pointed out that all of our animals are fat. And poorly trained. I guess that’s the way it goes for we zookeepers. But at least all our animals are (pardon the pun) as free as the birds!

19 thoughts on “DAY OF THE RED FINCHES – Marilyn Armstrong

  1. OK so the answer to all my questions yesterday is this is the normal colouration for Red finches. LOL
    What a great group of very healthy birds. I imagine if they could not fly off the bird feeders than it might be problematic. I am looking forward to spring birds in your neck of the woods.
    I never have put feeders out for birds here. I have lots of flowers and plants that provide food about plus water. In saying that I did have chooks and a wedge tail eagle did take one of them so that might have been considered putting food out. LOL


    • I have good days and not so good days. This was a good one. But more often, the birds decide to hide as soon as they see me. And they really DO see me through the glass. Sometimes they don’t mind. The Finches are less nervous than other birds, but there are days when no matter how hard I creep around trying to get the camera up into shooting position, they are gone before I can find the shutter. They were much less nervous last year.


    • We buy food they like and use feeders they find comfortable. It took me a while to figure out what worked, but I think I finally got it. This group of pictures came out better than usual. The right light and for some reason, these finches weren’t afraid of me. And we are getting some new birds I haven’t seen before, too.


    • I was really pleased with this set of photos. It has been a while since the birds “posed” for me! The new feeder really attracts them! I think we are getting a few wrens, sparrows, and warblers this year, too. I’m pretty sure I spotted the first of the cowbirds. The birds and squirrels have eaten through most of the food. That’s 15 pounds of seed! I’m not sure all the animals eating it put together weigh as much as the seeds they’ve consumed. Did you see the tummy on that Titmouse? He looks like a feathered tennis ball with a beak.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Most of the birds are still a bit blotchy as they change from winter to breeding colors. They will smooth out as breeding season arrives in a couple of weeks. I actually ordered a framed print of the first one with the flying red finches. I’m not sure where I will put it, but it’s the first really good shot I’ve gotten in months.


  2. That is a very nice feeder with the little perches. Looks very sturdy. We get a lot of goldfinches and wrens here so I’m thinking about putting a feeder up for the winter although it may end up being dominated by the cockatoos, wattlebirds and kookaburras so I’ll have to do some research.


    • If you have some equivalent of iNaturalist locally, you can find out what they eat. If you put the right food out, only birds that like the food will show up. We have food out that everything eats except owls, hawks, and a few other birds that only eat live food (mostly bugs). The doves only eat food that has fallen to the ground — they can’t cling as the smaller birds do.

      When you look for feeders, the places that specialize in birds usually will tell you the kinds of birds that like that kind of feeder. We don’t get as many squirrels and ground feeders as we did last year when we had a flat feeder, but the flat feeder committed suicide. It just fell apart. I also needed feeders big enough so I didn’t have to fill the feeders every day. Much as I love them, my energy level has been pretty low. I can’t even hang the big feeder myself. When it is full, it weighs more than 10 pounds. Owen can hoist it up there (and Owen is tall, which Garry and I are not).

      Anyway, see if has a site that covers Australia. If not, I’m sure they can tell you who does. We have several, including a huge one run by Cornell University.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ll see if they have an equivalent site I do have a site I go to for information and I think they have a section about bird feeders . I’ll let you know what I find. As Polly is an inside cat the birds should feel safe in my garden.


  3. I call your red finches chaffinch and it seems that the males are more colourful than the females. I also had a flock of them this week that all appeared in the middle of the afternoon. . It seems to be the annual meeting time for them.


    • The females look like wrens or sparrows, more or less brown and white. The boys are gearing up to attract the ladies. Apparently the redder they get, the more the girls like them. Mid-afternoon here, too. Late lunch and all the birds are out. They eat a LOT right before they breed and they need the food when they are raising their babies. I swear we are the only people in the area with feeders, though. We seem to be feeding everything.

      I noticed the similarity too. They ARE related. Our finches and your finches are very similar and all of them are big on arriving in a big bunch. They are not as afraid of people as some of our bigger birds and I’ve heard that they can get quite tame and will come and eat from your hands if you are outside a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

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