I bought special fancy food for the finches. It includes their favorite stuff including dried fruit. They really LOVE fruit. I put it out yesterday, but it was new, so it wasn’t until around the middle of the day today when they realized “OMG THIS IS GREAT STUFF.” Suddenly, there were mobs of finches fighting for room in the flat feeder. Cardinals are finches too and usually, because they are bigger, they can muscle their way through the crowd. This time, they just had to wait their turn. This is the first time I’ve gotten that mob thing the finches too when they are very, very happy with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They don’t get bored with the food, which is good because the Duke is extremely picky, but also a terrible beggar. Interesting combination, isn’t it?

Categories: Birds, Gallery, Goldfinch, House Finch, Photography, Wildlife

Tags: , , , , , ,

17 replies

  1. That last photo of the cardinal–he looks so grumpy! Such a great snap, Marilyn. Looks like a standoff at Armstrong Corral.


  2. I’m not very good with birds but these look to me like larger sparrows?! What kind of finches are they? Gorgeous table with yummy food….


    • The ones that look like sparrows are the females, mostly House Finches (the boys are the ones with the bright red heads). The Goldfinches don’t look as different (male-female) as the house finches or, for that matter, the Cardinals. I thought they were sparrows too until I realized that the females, because they are have to hide to protect the nestlings. The Goldfinch females don’t have as brilliant yellow you see on the males, so they are also relatively well easily hidden with dull — almost green or beige feathers. Some pattern of bars and white on the wings, but they’re hard to see in the brush. The female House Sparrows are essentially invisible in a tree or bush.

      There’s usually a large visual difference between males and females, though NOT for every bird. Among woodpeckers, the only difference is that the girls don’t have the big red patch on their heads.

      Females are never as bright as the males. The boys are bright because that’s how they attract the girls. The brighter and prettier their feathers, the more likely they are to get a gaggle of ladies willing to breed with them. Birds see in color, maybe even more colors that we see. They have amazing vision, too. There are a few (rare) exceptions. Owls can hunt by smell and sound in full darkness. I think they are the only night hunters in the bird world. You could say that the cover of these birds IS the book. I don’t think they check to see if the male is going to be a good daddy since only a few of them have a role in raising the young.

      If you’re interested, there are MANY books designed for birding, most designed for specific areas of any continent or nation, including yours. It’s a lot more interesting than you might think and you don’t need to sit and read the entire book. It’s for reference but many of them have gorgeous paintings (others have photographs) depending on what volume you buy.


  3. Lovely post, Marilyn… I need to get some of those flat feeders!


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Tish Farrell

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