Sighted: Week of December 1, 2014
Identifying birds has me pouring over my numerous birding books. I also have a few sites that have become quite helpful. Birds and Blooms is one that helped me today, specifically the post "Purple Finches are Heading South". At one time I may have ignorantly thought this bird was a female cardinal, but today I wavered between a House Finch or a Purple Finch.
I have finally decided these two are House Finches as the female's face seems to have very little pattern and the male has bold brown streaking on its side. One reference referred to it as "raspberry headed" and I love that.
I read that in 1941 these birds were sold in NYC pet shops as "Hollywood finches" (from California). It was illegal (protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty), but before the ban took place at least one proprietor released his stock. Now, years later, the offspring have spread and are plentiful in the east and southeast and are continuing to spread, even "pioneering" a path back toward California.
Many of my "home photos" are taken through a glass window and are not as sharp as I would like.