House Finches

This gallery contains 3 photos. As common sights as they may be in Metro Vancouver, House Finches have been hit-and-miss birds with me. The feisty females–whom I have seen bully other birds (including the males of their species) off the hovering feeding stations–will generally not object to having their photos taken.

House Finch on the Pear TreeI’ve spent over 2 years trying to get a closeup of a male House Finch. this is the payoff!
f/8, 1/1000, 500mm, ISO 800, flash on

The males are a different story. It’s almost like they know their red-streaked plumage is the reason I want to photograph them. On Christmas Day 2015, one of TWO males gave me the rare gift of not budging from his perch, and even offered up a few choice poses–even after I had opened the (noisy) sunroom window to the backyard. This stroke of luck may also be chalked up to the chilly weather–all our feathered friends were heavily disinclined to move, and much preferred to enjoy their sunbaths for most of the morning and afternoon.

House Finch on the Pear Treered rump, red face, red cheeks, red breast … I see a trend here.
f/8, 1/1000, 500mm, ISO 800, flash on

Not all male House Finches are streaked red … we have had the odd visitor who is (bright) yellow-streaked, and doesn’t look that much different from the females and juveniles. However, the males aspire to be as red as possible (some are fire engine red), because that’s what the females look for in a mate. Like flamingoes, it’s important that House Finch diets have as much red pigment in them for the red hues to really be visible.

House Finch on the Pear Treethe lady of the species. what she lacks in color, she makes up for with (plenty of) attitude!
f/7.1, 1/320, 500mm, ISO 800, flash on

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26 thoughts on “House Finches

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