A Real Head Scratcher!

Baldwin’s Birds


I’ve had quite the dilemma this week as to which bird is which! There are times when this happens and it drives me to distraction when it does. For quite a while, we have had a couple of House Finches feeding with the Goldfinches, but the other day something didn’t just look the same when the birds arrived to join the Goldfinches. What on earth could it be, they certainly looked the same but there was something not quite the same about them, but what was it? So into the bird-books to see what the difference was between what I was seeing and what I was thinking I should be seeing. The answer, as near as I can determine, is that I was now seeing a Purple Finch and not a House Finch, the similarities between the two being quite amazing. There is a lot of red on both birds, but the House Finch has a brown eye band and not so much red on its rump. Even the books and electronic media acknowledge this fact, so I don’t feel such a fool in not realizing these differences more quickly too! No doubt you have had this happen to you quite unexpectedly when catching only a fleeting glimpse during one of your own bird sightings.

Despite this deviation from the “norm”, everything bird-wise in the garden has been progressing well and the Bluebirds have now left their nesting activities, having brought their young brood into the world successfully. We didn’t see the young at all this time, which isn’t unusual, we have found. The Wrens, on the other hand, are still busy to-ing and fro-ing to one of my nesting boxes just for a little while longer. No doubt all will suddenly go quiet in that direction soon as yet another breeding season is completed and more birds take wing. Maybe you too have had a chance to watch nesting activity take place in your own backyard and if so, I hope it has brought you as much joy as the birds do for us in our garden and backyard. Stay safe and well,

John Baldwin


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